Synopses & Reviews
Economics tends to teach that developed countries have good institutions, while developing countries do not, and that this is the factor that constrains their growth. However, the picture is far messier than that suggests. The objective of this book is to take stock of the institutional debate and to understand the tools that are used within it.
Building on the Varieties of Capitalism framework, this book brings together the tools and perspective of institutional and agency economics with historical and contemporary analyses of how institutions such as legal status, ownership transitions from public or collective ownership to private ownership, representational status in firms governance and wider business structures developed. The volume examines the creation and structure of firms and their corporate governance seen through their incentive, monitoring and compensation structures. It also compares historical work on the emergence of these structures in Britain, Germany and Continental Europe, New World US capitalism, and contemporary transitions in China and Tanzania. The book is innovative in combining both historical and statistical insights, and in combining developed country institutional emergence (through historical work) with developing country institutional emergence (through current research work), dispelling the prevailing complacency of inevitability about the path of institutional development for the developed areas of the world.