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A multiplicity of approaches to institutional analysis. Applications to the government and the arts


  • Bruno S. Frey


Four types of �economics� relevant for institutional analysis are distinguished: Standard Neoclassical Economics; Socio-Economics or Social Economics; New Institutional Economics; and Psychological Economics (often misleadingly called Behavioural Economics). The paper argues that an extension of Neoclassical Economics with elements from other social sciences (including political science, sociology, psychology, law and anthropology) is fruitful to explain institutions because it allows us to maintain the strength of that approach. Social Economics can play an important role helping to overcome the limitations of Neoclassics. However, it should become more concrete, integrate what is useful in Neoclassics, and should seriously engage in empirical research.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno S. Frey, 2009. "A multiplicity of approaches to institutional analysis. Applications to the government and the arts," IEW - Working Papers 420, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:420

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andreas P. Kyriacou, 2006. "Functional, Overlapping, Competing, Jurisdictions and Ethnic Conflict Management," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 63-83, February.
    2. Morris Altman, 2008. "The Social Economics of Growth and Income Inequality," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Social Economics, chapter 14 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Bruno S. Frey (ed.), 1997. "Political Business Cycles," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 920.
    4. Pranab Bardhan & Isha Ray, 2008. "Methodological Approaches in Economics and Anthropology," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Social Economics, chapter 24 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Bruno Frey, 2009. "Economists in the PITS?," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 56(4), pages 335-346, December.
    6. Robert P. Inman & Daniel L. Rubinfeld, 1997. "Rethinking Federalism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 43-64, Fall.
    7. Casella, Alessandra & Frey, Bruno, 1992. "Federalism and clubs : Towards an economic theory of overlapping political jurisdictions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 639-646, April.
    8. Olson, Mancur, Jr, 1969. "The Principle of "Fiscal Equivalence": The Division of Responsibilities among Different Levels of Government," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 479-487, May.
    9. Elina Lampi & Matilda Orth, 2009. "Who Visits the Museums? A Comparison between Stated Preferences and Observed Effects of Entrance Fees," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 85-102, February.
    10. Bruno S. Frey & Silke Humbert & Friedrich Schneider, 2007. "Was denken deutsche Ökonomen? Eine empirische Auswertung einer Internetbefragung unter den Mitgliedern des Vereins für Socialpolitik im Sommer 2006," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8(4), pages 359-377, November.
    11. Throsby, David, 1994. "The Production and Consumption of the Arts: A View of Cultural Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(1), pages 1-29, March.
    12. repec:cup:apsrev:v:79:y:1985:i:02:p:293-304_22 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Vanberg, Viktor J, 2000. "Functional Federalism: Communal or Individual Rights?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 363-386.
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    More about this item


    Institutional Economics; Neoclassics; Psychological Economics; Behavioural Economics; institutions.;

    JEL classification:

    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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