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Institutional Economics: Then and Now

  • Malcolm Rutherford

This article gives a history of American institutionalism, and a brief comparison with the more recent "new" institutional economics. Institutionalism was a significant element in American economics between the Wars, but declined rapidly thereafter. The article outlines the movement's initial appeal, its contributions, and the reasons for its decline. Although the "new" institutionalism has few direct ties to the older tradition, some interesting commonalities are found and discussed. Links to the "new institutionalism" in sociology and political science, and to historical work on other "institutional" traditions are also mentioned.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.15.3.173
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 15 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 (Summer)
Pages: 173-194

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:15:y:2001:i:3:p:173-194
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.15.3.173
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  1. Hall, Peter A. & Taylor, Rosemary C. R., 1996. "Political science and the three new institutionalisms," MPIfG Discussion Paper 96/6, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  2. Alexander Ebner, 2000. "Schumpeter and the `Schmollerprogramm': integrating theory and history in the analysis of economic development," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 355-372.
  3. Morris A. Copeland, 1952. "A Study of Moneyflows in the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number cope52-1.
  4. Oliver E. Williamson, 2000. "The New Institutional Economics: Taking Stock, Looking Ahead," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 595-613, September.
  5. Simon, Herbert A., 1978. "Rational Decision-Making in Business Organizations," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1978-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
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  7. Rutherford, Malcolm, 1997. "American Institutionalism and the History of Economics," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(02), pages 178-195, September.
  8. Rutherford, Malcolm, 2002. "Morris A. Copeland: A Case Study in the History of Institutional Economics," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(03), pages 261-290, September.
  9. Jack Knight, 1998. "The Bases of Cooperation: Social Norms and the Rule of Law," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 154(4), pages 754-, December.
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  11. Veblen, Thorstein, 1899. "The Theory of the Leisure Class," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number veblen1899.
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  13. Rutherford, Malcolm, 2000. "Understanding Institutional Economics: 1918–1929," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(03), pages 277-308, September.
  14. Leo Wolman, 1924. "Foreword to "The Growth of American Trade Unions, 1880-1923"," NBER Chapters, in: The Growth of American Trade Unions, 1880-1923, pages 5-8 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. Wesley Clair Mitchell, 1927. "Introductory pages to "Business Cycles: The Problem and Its Setting"," NBER Chapters, in: Business Cycles: The Problem and Its Setting, pages -23 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  21. Wesley Clair Mitchell, 1927. "Business Cycles: The Problem and Its Setting," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number mitc27-1.
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