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Understanding Douglass North in game-theoretic language


  • Aoki, Masahiko


By using game-theoretic language, this paper attempts to interpret the North's recent framework for institutional studies. Particularly relying on a foundational study of knowledge and culture in epistemic game theory, it clarifies three subtly different meanings of the beliefs used by North - behavioral, cultural, and elites' subjective - in the evolutions of institutions. It also suggests the ways to respond to the North's call for interdisciplinary approach by applying analytical tools of strategic complementarities and linked games.

Suggested Citation

  • Aoki, Masahiko, 2010. "Understanding Douglass North in game-theoretic language," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 139-146, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:streco:v:21:y:2010:i:2:p:139-146

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Smith, Adam, 1759. "The Theory of Moral Sentiments," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number smith1759.
    2. Robert Aumann & Adam Brandenburger, 2014. "Epistemic Conditions for Nash Equilibrium," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Language of Game Theory Putting Epistemics into the Mathematics of Games, chapter 5, pages 113-136 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Aumann, Robert J, 1987. "Correlated Equilibrium as an Expression of Bayesian Rationality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 1-18, January.
    4. Aoki, Masahiko, 2010. "Corporations in Evolving Diversity: Cognition, Governance, and Institutions," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199218530, June.
    5. Milgrom, Paul, 1981. "An Axiomatic Characterization of Common Knowledge," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(1), pages 219-222, January.
    6. Cubitt, Robin P. & Sugden, Robert, 2003. "Common Knowledge, Salience And Convention: A Reconstruction Of David Lewis' Game Theory," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(02), pages 175-210, October.
    7. repec:cup:apsrev:v:91:y:1997:i:02:p:245-263_20 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Douglass C. North, 2005. "Introduction to Understanding the Process of Economic Change," Introductory Chapters,in: Understanding the Process of Economic Change Princeton University Press.
    9. Masahiko Aoki, 2001. "Toward a Comparative Institutional Analysis," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262011875, July.
    10. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 1994. "A Course in Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650401, July.
    11. Arrow, Kenneth J, 1994. "Methodological Individualism and Social Knowledge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 1-9, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Duane Windsor, 2010. "The Role of Dynamics in Stakeholder Thinking," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 96(1), pages 79-87, August.
    2. Ambrosino, Angela & Fiori, Stefano, 2017. "How Can Formal Norms Change Informal Norms? Douglass North’s Approach to Ideologies and Institutional Change," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201707, University of Turin.


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