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Limits to Institutional Reforms

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  • Eggertsson, Thrainn

Abstract

This essay draws on the theory of (macro)economic policy, as it has evolved, to discuss implicit policy determinism in the new economics of institutions. The extension of rational-choice methods to new levels of analysis, such as micropolitics, macropolitics, political macroeconomics, and microfoundations of cooperation, has apparently reduced the policy choice set and diminished the role of experts. All outcomes reflect constrained maximization by rational agents. The essay argues, however, that scarcity of knowledge leads to incomplete and variable policy models and that competition among policy models creates a role for experts in social change. Copyright 1998 by The editors of the Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Eggertsson, Thrainn, 1998. " Limits to Institutional Reforms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(1), pages 335-357, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:100:y:1998:i:1:p:335-57
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    Cited by:

    1. Petrick, Martin, 2006. "How to Make Institutional Economics Policy-Relevant: Theoretical Considerations and an Application to Rural Credit Markets in Developing Countries," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25702, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Xosé Carlos Arias & Gonzalo Caballero, 2003. "Instituciones, costos de transacción y políticas públicas: un panorama," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 5(8), pages 117-146, January-J.
    3. Martin Petrick & Ingo Pies, 2007. "In search for rules that secure gains from cooperation: the heuristic value of social dilemmas for normative institutional economics," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 251-271, June.
    4. Petrick, Martin, 2008. "Theoretical and methodological topics in the institutional economics of European agriculture. With applications to farm organisation and rural credit arrangements," Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Transition Economies, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), volume 45, number 92318.
    5. Ben-Ner, Avner & Putterman, Louis & Kong, Fanmin & Magan, Dan, 2004. "Reciprocity in a two-part dictator game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 333-352, March.
    6. Jennifer Tobin & Susan Rose-Ackerman, 2003. "Foreign Direct Investment and the Business Environment in Developing Countries: the Impact of Bilateral Investment Treaties," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 587, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    7. Johannes M. Bauer, 2004. "Governing the Networks of the Information Society. Prospects and limits of policy in a complex technical system," ITA manu:scripts 04_03, Institute of Technology Assessment (ITA).
    8. Maria Rosaria Garofalo & Maria Rosaria Supino, 2002. "Il Disegno Normativo del Welfare Municipale in Italia come Strumento per lo Sviluppo Economico e l'Allargamento delle Opportunita Occupazionali. Una Lettura Neoistituzionale della L. 328/00," CELPE Discussion Papers 67, CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno, Italy.

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