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Institutionalism and the State: Founding Views Reexamined


  • Timothy Wunder


  • Thomas Kemp



Economists in the institutional tradition have spent a great deal of time dealing with the notions of governance and the state. Yet that school of thought has yet to develop a complete unified theory of either governance or the state. In the work Commons and Veblen we see very different levels of analysis and commentary on these issues. Both authors are recognized as founding thinkers in the Institutional school yet they differ on how they use their methods and they have differing ideas about the usefulness of the state. Still, considered together they present a fairly complete and useable set of ideas about how governance and the state work. This essay summarizes, clarifies, and somewhat expands on the views held by Commons and Veblen with the view of moving towards a clear and concise institutional theory of the state.
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Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Wunder & Thomas Kemp, 2008. "Institutionalism and the State: Founding Views Reexamined," Forum for Social Economics, Springer;The Association for Social Economics, vol. 37(1), pages 27-42, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:fosoec:v:37:y:2008:i:1:p:27-42
    DOI: 10.1007/s12143-008-9012-y

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    5. Sidney Plotkin, 2007. "Thorstein Veblen and the Sabotage of Democracy," Chapters,in: Thorstein Veblen and the Revival of Free Market Capitalism, chapter 9 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. repec:mes:jeciss:v:18:y:1984:i:3:p:745-769 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Janet Knoedler & Anne Mayhew, 1999. "Thorstein Veblen and the Engineers: A Reinterpretation," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 31(2), pages 255-272, Summer.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wilfred Dolfsma, 2013. "Government Failure," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15372.


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