January 16, 2006

Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy

  • Avner Greif

    Bowman Family Endowed Professor in Humanities & Sciences, Stanford University
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It is widely believed that current disparities in economic, political, and social outcomes are caused by institutional differences. Institutions are invoked to explain why some countries are rich and others poor, some democratic and others dictatorial. Arguments of this sort, however, often neglect more fundamental issues, such as what institutions are, how they come about, and why they persist. This book seeks to overcome these scholarly problems by laying out a unified conceptual, analytical, and empirical review of institutional change.