Notebooks

Institutions and Organizations

19 Sep 2013 10:12

Institutions keep society from falling apart, provided that there is something to keep institutions from falling apart.
---Jon Elster, Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences, ch. 15
Institutional economics (old-style à la Commons; neo-institutional à la Douglass North; new institutional à la Williamson). Empirical studies of different sorts of economic institutions. Industrial organization and market structure (institutions beyond the bounds of any one formal organization). Organization theory. Theories of institutional change, formation. Difference between institutions which are products of policy and those which are products of custom. (Intermediate cases abound naturally.) Evolutionary economics. Memes. Institutional design. Centralized vs. decentralized institutions. Corruption. Distribution of power vs. formal organization. History of bureaucracy and other sorts of formal organization. (Did Europeans take civil service exams from China? How did they evolve in China?) Game-theoretic approaches. Simulations. Spontaneous formation of institutions. How, exactly, do "institutions matter" in economic development and growth?

See also: Collective Action; Collective Cognition; Economics; Networks of Political Actors; Political Decision Making; Sociology


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