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The Institutional Revolution: A Review Essay

  • Richard N. Langlois

    (University of Connecticut)

This review essay discusses and appraises Douglas Allen’s The Institutional Revolution (2011) as a way of reflecting on the uses of the New Institutional Economics (NIE) in economic history. It praises and defends Allen’s method of asking “what economic problem were these institutions solving?” But it insists that such comparative-institutional analysis be imbedded within a deeper account of institutional change, one driven principally by changes – often endogenous changes – in the extent of the market and in relative scarcities. The essay supports its argument with a variety of examples of the NIE applied to economic history.

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File URL: http://web2.uconn.edu/economics/working/2013-11.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2013-11.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2013-11
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Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/
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  1. Johnson Ronald N. & Libecap Gary D., 1994. "Patronage to Merit and Control of the Federal Government Labor Force," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 91-119, January.
  2. Domar, Evsey D., 1970. "The Causes of Slavery or Serfdom: A Hypothesis," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 30(01), pages 18-32, March.
  3. Richard N. Langlois, 2001. "The Vanishing Hand: the Changing Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism," Economic History 0110001, EconWPA.
  4. Douglass C. North, 2005. "Introduction to Understanding the Process of Economic Change
    [Understanding the Process of Economic Change]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  5. Miller, Nolan & Wagner, Alexander Florian & Zeckhauser, Richard Jay, 2012. "Solomonic Separation: Risk Decisions as Productivity Indicators," Scholarly Articles 9946786, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  6. Richard N. Langlois, 2002. "Cognitive Comparative Advantage and the Organization of Work: Lessons from Herbert Simon's Vision of the Future," Working papers 2002-20, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  7. Buttrick, John, 1952. "The Inside Contract System," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(03), pages 205-221, June.
  8. Williamson, Oliver E., 1980. "The organization of work a comparative institutional assessment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 5-38, March.
  9. Szostak, Rick, 1989. "The organization of work : The emergence of the factory revisited," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 343-358, May.
  10. Landes, David S., 1986. "What Do Bosses Really Do?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(03), pages 585-623, September.
  11. Richard N. Langlois, 2005. "The Entrepreneurial Theory of the Firm and the Theory of the Entrepreneurial Firm," Working papers 2005-27, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2005.
  12. Sidney Pollard, 1963. "Factory Discipline in the Industrial Revolution," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 16(2), pages 254-271, December.
  13. Richard N. Langlois, 2003. "Chandler in a Larger Frame: Markets, Transaction Costs, and Organizational Form in History," Working papers 2003-16R, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2004.
  14. Clark, Gregory, 1994. "Factory Discipline," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(01), pages 128-163, March.
  15. Demsetz, Harold, 1969. "Information and Efficiency: Another Viewpoint," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(1), pages 1-22, April.
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