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Institutions, Social Norms and Well-being

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  • Murray Petrie

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Abstract

This paper discusses the intrinsic and instrumental value of governance and social norms to the well being of New Zealanders. The interaction between informal social norms and formal institutions is also discussed. An attempt is made to identify the channels and precise mechanisms through which governance and social norms respectively may impact on well-being. Empirical evidence on these effects is cited, and the relevance of the evidence to New Zealand is assessed. A range of suggestions is then presented for strengthening the governance of public institutions in New Zealand, focusing on improvements to transparency, accountability and integrity within existing constitutional arrangements. Finally, some tentative remarks are made on the potential role of government in influencing the evolution of social norms, and managing tensions between conflicting norms in New Zealand.

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File URL: http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/research-policy/wp/2002/02-12/twp02-12.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by New Zealand Treasury in its series Treasury Working Paper Series with number 02/12.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nzt:nztwps:02/12

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Keywords: Norms; governance; well-being; public institutions; transparency;

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  1. William Easterly & Jozef Ritzen & Michael Woolcock, 2006. "Social Cohesion, Institutions, And Growth," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 103-120, 07.
  2. Easterly, William, 2001. " The Middle Class Consensus and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 317-35, December.
  3. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 1998. "On Economic Causes of Civil War," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 563-73, October.
  4. Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Is Making Divorce Easier Bad for Children? The Long Run Implications of Unilateral Divorce," NBER Working Papers 7968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. La Porta, Rafael, et al, 1997. "Trust in Large Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 333-38, May.
  6. Easterly, William, 2000. "Can institutions resolve ethnic conflict ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2482, The World Bank.
  7. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 7580, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  9. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Governance matters," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2196, The World Bank.
  10. The Treasury, 2001. "Towards an Inclusive Economy," Treasury Working Paper Series 01/15, New Zealand Treasury.
  11. Elinor Ostrom, 2000. "Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 137-158, Summer.
  12. Ritzen, Jo & Easterly, William & Woolcock, Michael, 2000. "On"good"politicians and"bad"policies - social cohesion, institutions, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2448, The World Bank.
  13. Paolo Mauro, 1996. "The Effects of Corruptionon Growth, Investment, and Government Expenditure," IMF Working Papers 96/98, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1998. "Regulatory Discretion and the Unofficial Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 387-92, May.
  15. Coleman, James S, 1991. "Constructed Organization: First Principles," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 7-23, Special I.
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