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Globalisation And Comparative Economics: Of Efficiency, Efficient Institutions, And Late Development

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  • Dic Lo

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    (Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK)

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    Abstract

    Does globalisation entail a demand for uniformity, or diversity, of the (political) economic institutions of nation-states? What is the theoretical underpinning of the demand? And what are the implications of the demand for economic development? The conventional literature known as comparative economic systems has been unable to answer these question, because there is an intrinsic tension between its methodology (the neoclassical framework of individualistic rational choices and their equilibrium) and the subject matter (the multiplicity of economic institutions and development experiences in the real world). The new comparative economics has consisted of a variety of attempts to cope with this tension: some aimed at preserving the neoclassical framework at a more fundamental level, while some others aimed at transcending the framework to arrive at a new theory of economic systems and development. This paper argues that attempts that adhere to the neoclassical tradition is likely to lead to dead ends, while attempts that encompass collective as well as individualistic rationality represent more promising directions. Fuller developments of the literature, however, require incorporating objectified institutions and paradigmised technology into its sphere of inquiry. It is submitted that there are important lessons to learn from classical political economy and their modern presentations, particularly Marxian theories of the social forces of production, in this regard.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK in its series Working Papers with number 137.

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    Length: 24 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:soa:wpaper:137

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    Web page: http://www.soas.ac.uk/economics/
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    Keywords: Globalisation; comparative economics; late development;

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    1. Bonin, John P., 1998. "The "Transition" in Comparative Economics," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-8, March.
    2. Krugman, Paul, 1981. "Trade, accumulation, and uneven development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 149-161, April.
    3. Djankov, Simeon & Glaeser, Edward L & López-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2003. "The New Comparative Economics," CEPR Discussion Papers 3882, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Russell Smyth & Dic Lo, 2000. "Theories of the Firm and the Relationship between Different Perspectives on the Division of Labour," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 333-349.
    5. Wade, Robert, 1998. "The Asian debt-and-development crisis of 1997-?: Causes and consequences," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(8), pages 1535-1553, August.
    6. North, Douglass C, 1994. "Economic Performance through Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 359-68, June.
    7. Edward Glaeser & Simon Johnson & Andrei Shleifer, 2001. "Coase Versus The Coasians," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 853-899, August.
    8. Smyth, Russell, 1998. " New Institutionalist Economics in the Post-Socialist Transformation Debate," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(4), pages 361-98, September.
    9. Oliver E. Williamson, 1993. "Contested Exchange versus the Governance of Contractual Relations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 103-108, Winter.
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