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Interlocking complementarities and institutional change

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  • PAGANO, UGO

Abstract

In biology, the laws that regulate the structuring and change of complex organisms, characterised by interlocking complementarities, are different from those that shape the evolution of simple organisms. Only the latter share mechanisms of competitive selection of the fittest analogous to those envisaged by the standard neoclassical model in economics. The biological counterparts of protectionism, subsidies and conflicts enable complex organisms to exit from long periods of stasis and to increase their capacity to adapt efficiently to the environment. Because of their interlocking complementarities, most institutions share the laws governing the structure and change of complex organisms. We concentrate on the complementarities between technology and property rights and consider historical cases in which organisational stasis has been overcome by mechanisms different from (and sometimes acting in spite of) competitive pressure. The evolution of institutions cannot be taken for granted; but even when institutions seem frozen forever by their interlocking complementarities, their potential for change can be discovered by analysis of those interactions.

Suggested Citation

  • Pagano, Ugo, 2011. "Interlocking complementarities and institutional change," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(03), pages 373-392, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jinsec:v:7:y:2011:i:03:p:373-392_00
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Earle, John S. & Pagano, Ugo & Lesi, Maria, 2006. "Information technology, organizational form, and transition to the market," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(4), pages 471-489, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nicita, Antonio & Pagano, Ugo, 2016. "Finance-technology complementarities: An organizational equilibria approach," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 43-51.
    2. Landini, Fabio, 2013. "Institutional change and information production," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(03), pages 257-284, September.
    3. Ugo Pagano, 2013. "Love, war and cultures: an institutional approach to human evolution," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 41-66, April.
    4. Ugo Pagano, 2013. "Technical assets and property rights," Chapters,in: Handbook of Economic Organization, chapter 18 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. repec:spr:joevec:v:27:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s00191-017-0525-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Landini, Fabio, 2012. "Technology, property rights and organizational diversity in the software industry," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 137-150.
    7. Samuel Bowles, 2013. "Darwin, Marx and Pagano: a comment on “Love, War, and Cultures”," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 71-81, April.
    8. Ugo Pagano, 2012. "No institution is a free lunch: a reconstruction of Ronald Coase," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 59(2), pages 189-200, July.
    9. repec:pid:journl:v:55:y:2016:i:4:p:257-265 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
    • N60 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology

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