The puzzles of economic development and post-communist transitions, according to Christopher Clague and his colleagues, can be illuminated by a serious economic analysis of institutions. Economic performance is strongly dependent on the economic policies selected and on the manner in which these policies are implemented by government agencies. Performance is also affected by property rights and contract enforcement mechanisms in the business community and by patterns of participation in community organizations. These and other institutional arrangements are analyzed in this book under the rubric of the New Institutional Economics. Christopher Clague brings together a distinguished group of economists and political scientists to address the determinants and consequences of international differences in economic and political institutions.
After reviewing the intellectual landscape of the New Institutional Economics and other contributions, the authors present new evidence that international differences in property rights and contract enforcement help to explain differences in income, investment, and growth. Additional topics include the effects of democratic political institutions on economic performance, the determinants of success or failure in community organization, the institutional challenges facing formerly communist societies, and the use of the economics of information to improve government administrative performance. The book will be of interest to both scholars and development practitioners.
Contributors include economists Christopher Clague, Robert Klitgaard, Peter Murrell, Mancur Olson, Vernon Ruttan, and Vito Tanzi, and political scientists Stephan Haggard, Margaret Levi, and Elinor Ostrom.