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Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance


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Part I. Institutions: 1. An introduction to institutions and institutional change; 2. Cooperation: the theoretical problem; 3. The behavioural assumptions in a theory of institutions; 4. A transaction cost theory of exchange; 5. Informal constraints; 6. Formal constraints; 7. Enforcement; 8. Institutions and transaction and transformation costs; Part II. Institutional Change: 9. Organizations, learning, and institutional change; 10. Stability and institutional change; 11. The path of institutional change; Part III. Economic Performance: 12. Institutions, economic theory, and economic performance; 13. Stablity and change in economic history; 14. Incorporating institutional analysis into economic history: prospects and puzzles.

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Explores the nature of institutions and institutional change.


"At a time when economic and political institutions are being reformed and replaced all over the world, North's book is required reading for all social scientists and policy makers." T.N. Srinivasan, Yale University "North here draws upon the literature concerning the formation of economic ask significant questions about differences among economies across time and space...This is an exciting and stimulating work, and one that will leave its mark upon the work of economic historians. It will also be important for political scientists and other social scientists, to learn the message and relevance of an influential strain of non-mainstream economic thinking." Stanley Engerman, University of Rochester "In a careful but wide-ranging analysis grounded in rational-choice theory, he stresses the ways in which institutional arrangements, once adopted, may lead quite rational actors to behave in ways that are collectively suboptimal." Paul Pierson, World Politics

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