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Elites and Institutional Persistence

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  • Robinson, James A.
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    Abstract

    Particular sets of institutions, once they become established in a society, have a strong tendency to persist. In this paper I argue that understanding how elites form and reproduce is key to understanding the persistence of institutions over time. I illustrate this idea with a simple political economy theory of institutions and through examples from Liberia, the US, South Africa and Germany I show how elites influence institutions. To change institutions requires having an understanding of how reforms influence the preferences, capabilities and strategies of elites.

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    File URL: http://www.wider.unu.edu/stc/repec/pdfs/wp2010/wp2010-85.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) in its series Working Paper Series with number wp2010-85.

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    Length: 30 pages
    Date of creation: 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2010-85

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    Keywords: elites; political economy; persistence of institutions;

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    References

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    1. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson & Daniel M. Sturm, 2010. "Political Competition, Policy and Growth: Theory and Evidence from the United States," CEP Discussion Papers dp1009, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Cantoni, Davide & Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A. & Johnson, Simon, 2010. "The Consequences of Radical Reform: The French Revolution," Munich Reprints in Economics 20003, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    3. Wright, Gavin, 1999. "The Civil Rights Revolution as Economic History," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(02), pages 267-289, June.
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    Cited by:
    1. Malik, Adeel & Awadallah, Bassem, 2013. "The Economics of the Arab Spring," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 296-313.

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