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Bringing Institutions Into Evolutionary Economics: Another View with Links to Changes in Physical and Social Technologies

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    Like Nelson (2002), I make a case for bringing institutions into evolutionary economics. But unlike Nelson, who defines institutions as social technologies consisting of rules-routines, I define them in agreement with North (1990) as humanly devised rules-constraints — such as formal law and informal social norms — but also view them, to accommodate most of Nelson's approach, as constraining the variety of rules-routines employable by agents. I show that this definition has advantages for communicating with modern institutional analysis, for clarifying how institutions can influence, and be influenced by, changes in physical and social technologies, and for producing policy implications.

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    Paper provided by The Ratio Institute in its series Ratio Working Papers with number 24.

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    Length: 28 pages
    Date of creation: 15 May 2003
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: Published in Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 2003, pages 237-258.
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:ratioi:0024
    Contact details of provider: Postal: The Ratio Institute, P.O. Box 5095, SE-102 42 Stockholm, Sweden
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    1. Sugden, Robert, 1989. "Spontaneous Order," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 85-97, Fall.
    2. Nelson, Richard R. & Sampat, Bhaven N., 2001. "Making sense of institutions as a factor shaping economic performance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 31-54, January.
    3. Pelikan, P, 1992. "The Dynamics of Economic Systems, or How to Transform a Failed Socialist Economy," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 39-63, March.
    4. Heiner, Ronald A, 1983. "The Origin of Predictable Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 560-95, September.
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