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The Contribution of Douglass North to New Institutional Economics

  • Claude Ménard

    ()

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne)

  • Shirley Mary M.

    ()

    (RCI - Ronald Coase Institute - Ronald Coase Institute)

Registered author(s):

    Douglass North, along with Ronald Coase and Oliver Williamson, transformed the early intuitions of new institutional economics into powerful conceptual and analytical tools that spawned a robust base of empirical research. NIE arose in response to questions not well explained by standard neoclassical models, such as make or buy and why rich or poor? Today NIE is a success story by many measures: four Nobel laureates in under 20 years, increasing penetration of mainstream journals, and significant impact on major policy debates from anti-trust law to development aid. This paper provides a succinct overview of North's evolving ideas about institutions and explains how North's work shaped the emerging field of new institutional economics and had a potent impact on economics and the social sciences more broadly. North provides a powerful example of how persistent and well placed confidence and hard work can productively transform the status quo. North's influence continues strong and his enthusiasm for exploring new frontiers and cooperating across artificial academic boundaries has never waned.

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    Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number halshs-00624297.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00624297
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    1. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2002. "15 Years of New Growth Economics: What Have We Learnt?," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 172, Central Bank of Chile.
    2. Douglass C. North, 1968. "Sources of Productivity Change in Ocean Shipping, 1600-1850," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 953.
    3. North, Douglass C. & Weingast, Barry R., 1989. "Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 803-832, December.
    4. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521055390 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Brousseau, Eric & Glachant, Jean-Michel, 2008. "New institutional economics: a guidebook," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/12319, Paris Dauphine University.
    6. North, Douglass C, 1994. "Economic Performance through Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 359-68, June.
    7. William Easterly, 2002. "The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262550423, June.
    8. Whitney, William G., 1966. "Growth and Welfare in the American Past: A New Economic History. By Douglass C. North. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1966. Pp. xiv, 198. $5.95 (clothbound); $2.95 (paperback)," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(03), pages 395-396, September.
    9. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521808187 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Cheung, Steven N S, 1969. "Transaction Costs, Risk Aversion, and the Choice of Contractual Arrangements," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(1), pages 23-42, April.
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