The Concept of Institution: Context and Meaning
AbstractWhen trying to understand what is meant by the concept of institution we must analyse the context in which institutions are assumed to play their role. In a typical economic analysis institutions are rules that serve the interests of economic-rational actors, and must enhance the efficiency of their actions. In a typical sociological analysis institutions are rules that serve the interests of social actors, and must enhance the formation of stable systems of hierarchically ranked groups. In the real world human behaviour also has a psychic aspect. In a typical psychological analysis institutions must promote the integration of different parts of a personality. This article assumes that in real life humans are driven by a composite of three categories of forces, namely the economic, the social and the psychic motive. Real life institutions have the function to mould these drives in such a way that economic, social and psychic goals can be reached more effectively. As a matter of illustration of this moulding process a short sketch of the emergence of the Dutch welfare state is given.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Utrecht School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 08-22.
Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
- B15 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
- B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
- B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Institutional; Evolutionary
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-09-20 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2008-09-20 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-HPE-2008-09-20 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-PKE-2008-09-20 (Post Keynesian Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2008-09-20 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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