Beyond the market-institutions dichotomy: The institutionalism of Douglass C. North in response to Karl Polanyi's challenge
On the basis of the "challenge" North [1997 (1977)] identified in the works of Polanyi, we propose to outline the originality of North's institutionalism, especially in comparison with "new institutionalism" in economics as well as in sociology. Far from endorsing the dichotomy between market and non market dimensions of economic activities at the basis of the analyses of Williamson and Granovetter, North's definition of institutions as "rules of the game" allows him to conceive of institutions as the institutional foundations of the market and therefore as explanatory principles of historical dynamics.
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