Institutions And Productivity In History
The argument of this essay is that productivity increases result from both improvements in human organization and from technological developments. Indeed it is probably true that the former is as important as the latter in economic growth. In the following sections I first lay out the theoretical justification for this arguement (I), then explore some of the key institutional changes in history that have laid the foundation for modern economic growth (II), explore the interplay between institutional and technological changes in the past 150 years,the era of the 2nd economic revolution (III), discuss the institutional and transaction cost changes that have characterized that revolution (IV) and conclude with some implications and questions that this analysis poses for future productivity change and economic growth (V).
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