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Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  343 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
An analytical framework for explaining the ways in which institutions and institutional change affect the performance of economies is developed in this analysis of economic structures.
Paperback, 159 pages
Published October 26th 1990 by Cambridge University Press
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Michael Quinn
Jun 07, 2012 Michael Quinn rated it it was amazing
An excellent little book that should be mandatory reading for any student of economics. North does an incredible job of reminding students that much of the world still exists beyond neoclassical models, and ignoring this fact has badly damaged the reputation and reliability of the field.

While some of the comments below disparage North's writing, it's fine as far as economic writing is concerned. There's certainly much worse out there, and North's anecdotal examples - which appear more frequently
Nick Geiser
Oct 30, 2015 Nick Geiser rated it really liked it
The funny thing about this book is that political scientists and sociologists had been saying for a long time that institutions matter. In economics, however, this rediscovery can earn you a Nobel Prize!

On a more serious note, however, this book is a theory of both why there has been divergence rather than convergence in economic performance, and why divergence has lead to persistent low-growth economies. In a sentence, there is divergence rather than convergence because transactions costs are
Noah Enelow
May 28, 2007 Noah Enelow rated it liked it
Recommends it for: academics
Shelves: recentlyread

This book is really influential in social science circles, which is why I read it. The point he makes is essential for anyone trying to do economics, like me. The basic lesson is simple: the rules of the game make a huge difference in whether mutually beneficial transactions are undertaken or not. Exploitation and oppression can be built into the structure by parties who have greater bargaining strength. The book can be a dry read, as North sometimes spends whole pages dealing in abstract genera
Sep 13, 2015 Lewis rated it it was amazing
For political scientists this is a key text. The first chapter is often quoted, through defining institutions as the 'rules of the game'. Its an interesting read and engages with how institutions shape social and economic life.
Athan Tolis
Jan 15, 2014 Athan Tolis rated it it was amazing
My brother in law has given me a book about Libertarianism to read, so I thought I'd read something mainstream first. A book that discusses institutions, what they're meant to do, how they influence the economy and how they can improve.

I got lucky. This book by Douglass North is an excellent primer. In 14 short chapters (some 10 pages each) it covers a thousand pages' worth of ground, no exaggeration. Each chapter starts with an abstract. You could read the 14 abstracts (comfortably less than 20
Данило Судин
Стосовно цієї книги в мене змішані відчуття. По-перше, як соціолог, я не розумію, чому Норту дали Нобелівську премію за акцент на вивченні інституцій. Соціологи про інститути пишуть ще від часів Герберта Спенсера, тобто з сер. ХІХ ст. А культура опиняється в центрі уваги соціологів ще з 1940-х рр. Тобто соціологія явно випереджує економіку в наближенні до реальності. Але довкола соціологічних досліджень таких вигуків "еврика!" чомусь немає.

По-друге, це дійсно важлива книга.
Звісно, для економіст
Sean Rosenthal
Sep 06, 2014 Sean Rosenthal rated it liked it
Interesting Quotes:

"Coase said a number of fundamentally important things in both ['The Problem of Social Cost' (1960)] and his 'The Nature of the Firm' (1937). The most important message, one with profound implications for restructuring economic theory, is that when it is costly to transact, institutions matter."

-Douglass North, Institutions, Institutional Change, and Economic Performance


"The evidence we have with respect to ideologies, altruism, and self-impose
Dima Shevchuk
Nov 19, 2015 Dima Shevchuk rated it it was amazing
Если бы существовал список обязательной к прочтению литературы для политиков и госслужащих, то в первую его десятку в обязательном порядке должна попасть эта книга.
Институты... многие говорят о них или их отсутствии, неправильности работы или необходимости копирования. К сожалению, при этом путаются институты и организации, служащие инструментом формирования, укрепления и реализации самих институтов. Для примера: прокуратура это не институт, но организация по контролю соблюдения института различ
Aug 18, 2014 Diego rated it really liked it
Douglass North elabora una teoría sobre como las instituciones (formales e informales) modifican la estructura de costos y precios de las transacciones económicas y políticas. Esta red institucional crea las condiciones para el crecimiento económico y el cambio histórico de las ciudades o para su estancamiento.

North trata de integrar su teoría en el corazón de la teoría económica neoclásica reconciliandola con los supuestos de escasez y de interés propio. North trata de reconciliar el instituci
Foundational stuff. The challenge as ever is to figure out where the impetus for change between institutional rulesets comes from - how do "corrupt" or "inefficient" systems in their own form of equilibrium transform into the more competitive "good governance" model we generally take for granted in modern Western states?

North identifies changes in prices (and thus returns to particular activities) and associated changes in incentives to pursue organizational interests either through existing rul
Richard Sandbrook
This is the key book marking the discovery of institutions by neoclassical economics - no matter that the other social sciences had incorporated institutions decades or centuries earlier. The trick then is to assimilate institutions to methodological individualism - the focus on individuals making decisions in the presence of scarcity. Mission accomplished. Nobel Prize in Economics to follow. But what is all the fuss about?
Ahmet  Kaya
Apr 17, 2011 Ahmet Kaya rated it it was amazing
Shelves: economics, politics
douglas north's research on the effect of institutional factors on the economic performance is essential in point of drawing a framework on economic growth. north argues that the difference of the economic performances between countries is determined by the institutional factors which consists formal and informal rules-restrictions imposed by social life. the book should be in "to-read" shelves for anyone who interests economic growth and wonders the differences among countries.
Oct 27, 2015 Yaser rated it really liked it
كتب عميق جدا من اقتصادي و حائز على نوبل ، يشير الى دور المؤسسات في حياة الانسان من منظور اقتصادي في محاولة لتفسير السلوك الإنساني و كيف يمكن تبني نمذج لتغيير المؤسسات و من ثم النمو الاقتصادي ، انصح به للمهتمين باقتصاديات التنمية
Jan 28, 2014 BDT rated it it was ok
North's work is of the utmost importance for Political Science students, particularly those in Global Politics and Comparative Politics. Though dense, North offers discussion on institutional change that all PoliSci students will be required to know and intrinsically understand.
Aug 29, 2010 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Este libro es fundamental en la literatura de ciencias sociales. Las ideas en el libro y su marco para entender y analizar el desarrollo y cambio de "instituciones" (o "las reglas del juego") es escrito en forma clara, sencilla y concisa (a pesar de ser a veces seca y sin contexto).
Jeffong Gol
Apr 09, 2012 Jeffong Gol rated it liked it
Shelves: economy
North once have said:“last but certainly not least,Elisabeth Case has translated my inelegant prose into English language”.(North,1990a,p.viii)
It seems that he realized his broken English.And I just want to say it's absolutely a truth.
Apr 04, 2015 Robin rated it it was amazing
This is a foundational book to read about economic performance, and is also one of the many important books to read from the New Institutional School of Economics. Douglass C. North's work has greatly influenced my work in political science and public administration.
Zhentian Shen
Feb 14, 2016 Zhentian Shen rated it it was amazing
holy shit
This book changed my understanding of the interdependent nature of social, political and economic life. Institutions are the "rules of the game."
Feb 05, 2015 Vic1212 rated it liked it
Even though this is supposedly a milestone in instutional development, I could not really get my mind around the theories posed in this book. Nonetheless, worth a read.
Lara Pham
Oct 22, 2014 Lara Pham rated it it was amazing
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Douglass Cecil North (November 5, 1920 – November 23, 2015) was an American economist known for his work in economic history. He was the co-recipient (with Robert William Fogel) of the 1993 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. In the words of the Nobel Committee, North and Fogel "renewed research in economic history by applying economic theory and quantitative methods in order to explain eco ...more
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“The opportunities for political and economic entrepreneurs are still a mixed bag, but they overwhelmingly favor activities that promote redistributive rather than productive activity, that create monopolies rather than competitive conditions, and that restrict opportunities rather than expand them. They” 0 likes
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