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In the spring on 2006, a workshop was held at Michigan State University to honour the career of A. Allan Schmid and his writings about how institutions evolve and how alternative institutions, including property rights, shape political relationships and impact economic performance. This edited book is the outcome of the workshop. It is a collection of original essays that explores several approaches to understanding the impact of alternative legal-economic institutions. The collection investigates questions such as: What are the similarities and differences among the various strands and approaches? Could parts of the different approaches be integrated to achieve greater insight into economic behaviour? Do different analytical problems require different approaches? Are the various strands of institutionalism actually saying the same things, but using different language and perspective?
In gathering together authors who represent different approaches or strands of institutionalism, this book addresses several different issues such as transactions as the unit of observation, bounded rationality and learning, power issues embedded in the concept of efficiency, comparative empirical analysis, multiple equilibria and institutional diversity within a given environment, specification of institutional rules and structures, evolutionary perspectives, decentralized processes, and the significance of historical content.
1. Introduction, 2. Simplicity in Institutional Design, Nathan Berg, 3. Institutional Economics as Volitional Pragmatism, Daniel Bromley, 4. The Essence of Economics, Neil K. Komesar, 5. Is Law Facilitating or Taxing Transactions?, Claude Ménard, 6. Institutional Analysis, Elinor Ostrom, 7. Some Problems in Assessing the Evolution and Impact of Institutions, Warren Samuels, 8. Power and the Troublesome Economist, Allan Schmid, 9. Institutions and Rationality, Arild Vatn, 10. Towards a Theory of Induced Institutional Change, Morris Altman, 11. Does Economic Development require Certain Property Rights?, Peter Boettke and Robert Subrick, 12. The Role of Culture and Social Norms in Theories of Institutional Change, Julie Hogeland, 13. Attitudes Matter, Ute-Maria Niederle, 14. Institutional Individualism and Institutional Change, Fernando Toboso, 15. Post-Keynesian Institutionalism and the Anxious Society, Charles Whalen, 16. The Instituted Nature of Market Information, 17. A Dialogue on Institutions, Nicholas Mercuro