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Institutions in Economics: The Old and the New Institutionalismby Malcolm Rutherford
Synopses & Reviews
This book examines and compares the two major traditions of thought that have attempted to incorporate institutions within economics. These are the "Old" (or American) Institutionalist tradition of Veblen, Mitchell, Commons and Ayres, and the "New" Institutionalism that has developed more recently from neoclassical and Austrian sources. The discussion is organized around a set of key problems involving the use of formal or nonformal analytical methods, individualist or holistic approaches, the respective roles of rational choice and rule following behavior, the relative importance of spontaneous evolution and deliberative design of institutions, and questions relating to the normative appraisal of institutions.
This text examines and compares the "old" institutionalism of Veblen, Mitchell, Commons, and Ayres, and the "new" institutionalism developed more recently from neoclassical and Austrian sources, including the writings of Coase, Williamson, North, Schotter, and many others.
This book examines and compares the two major traditions of institutionalist thinking in economics: the â€˜oldâ€™institutionalism of Veblen, Mitchell, Commons, and Ayres, and the â€˜newâ€™institutionalism developed more recently from neoclassical and Austrian sources and including the writings of Coase, Williamson, North, Schotter, and many others. The discussion is organized around a set of key methodological, theoretical, and normative problems that necessarily confront any attempt to incorporate institutions (defined to include organisations, laws, and social norms) into economics. Although each tradition embodies fascinating insights into the study of economic institutions - their functioning, evolution, and impact on human welfare - neither has as yet provided fully satisfactory answers to the problems identified.
Table of Contents
1. Definitions and issues; 2. Formalism and anti-formalism; 3. Individualism and holism; 4. Rationality and rule following; 5. Evolution and design; 6. Efficiency and reform; 7. Conflicts and complementarities.
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