What Makes an Institution "Developmental"? A Comparative Analysis

The advent of the institutional perspective in the study in national development not only revolutionized the field, but it brought together the views of economists, political scientists, and sociologists. Henceforth, a common understanding of the role of social mechanisms in sustained economic growth would be common to these disciplines, moving the search to those factors that "make a difference" in bringing about this outcome (Kohli, 1987, 2004; Roland, 2004). A necessary, logical step in this search is a rigorous identification of what institutions are, and on this point a curious definitional vacuum has emerged. It is not the case that definitions of the concept have not been advanced, but they have been both too numerous and too vague (Jutting, 2003).