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Institutions and development: what a difference geography and time make!




Ha-Joon Chang, in his article ‘Institutions and Economic Development: Theory, Policy, and History’, provides a description and critique of the mainstream view of institutions and development. It applies well to Latin America in the 1980s and 1990s. However, the effort to introduce these Anglo-American institutional structures (Global Standard Institutions; GSIs) in the 1980s and 1990s resulted in uneven and unstable economic performance, not development. As a result, the relationship among institutions, development and economic policy in Latin America today has generally moved far beyond this ‘mainstream’. The institutions to insure macro stability have generally been preserved, and some countries do follow GSI prescriptions. However in most countries, especially in South America, the effort to find the right mix of institutions for development has moved far beyond this mainstream. The result has been innovative initiatives to address more fundamental development issues such as inequality, property rights and international economic institutions. This process is likely to continue, facilitated by the currently robust democratic political systems that grew out of the earlier turmoil.

Suggested Citation

  • Jameson, Kenneth P., 2011. "Institutions and development: what a difference geography and time make!," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(04), pages 535-541, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jinsec:v:7:y:2011:i:04:p:535-541_00

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