Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Ratio Working Papers,
The Ratio Institute

No 24: Bringing Institutions Into Evolutionary Economics: Another View with Links to Changes in Physical and Social Technologies

Pavel Pelikan
Additional contact information
Pavel Pelikan: The Ratio Institute, Postal: P.O. Box 5095, SE-102 42 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: Like Nelson (2002), I make a case for bringing institutions into evolutionary economics. But unlike Nelson, who defines institutions as social technologies consisting of rules-routines, I define them in agreement with North (1990) as humanly devised rules-constraints — such as formal law and informal social norms — but also view them, to accommodate most of Nelson's approach, as constraining the variety of rules-routines employable by agents. I show that this definition has advantages for communicating with modern institutional analysis, for clarifying how institutions can influence, and be influenced by, changes in physical and social technologies, and for producing policy implications.

Keywords: institutions; rules-constraints; rules-routines; social technologies; economic evolutions

JEL-codes: A10; B15; B52; N01

28 pages, May 15, 2003

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