Advertisement

Introduction: Douglass North’s NIEH in Context

  • Matthijs Krul
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Economic Thought book series (PHET)

Abstract

The economic historian Douglass North is most famous for developing a theory that interprets the causes of economic change by explaining them in terms of social institutions. This theory, the New Institutionalist Economic History, has had a far-reaching influence. In this chapter, Krul explains how this theory originated in existing institutionalist ideas within economics, how it built on these ideas and developed them further, and how it contributed to the rise of a new way of thinking across the fields of social science concerned with economic thought. Krul also discusses the reception of North’s theory, both by its supporters and its critics. As shown here, for understanding North’s approach it is important to distinguish the specifics of his theory from other forms of New Institutionalist Economics.

References

  1. Acemoglu, Daron. 2010. Institutions, Factor Prices and Taxation: Virtues of Strong States?, NBER Working Paper 15693.Google Scholar
  2. Acemoglu, Daron, Francisco Gallego, and James A. Robinson. 2014. Institutions, Human Capital and Development, NBER Working Paper 19933.Google Scholar
  3. Alston, L.J. 2008. New Institutional Economics. In The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, ed. Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  4. Bates, Robert H. 2014. The New Institutionalism. The Work of Douglass North. In Institutions, Economic Growth, and Property Rights: The Legacy of Douglass North, ed. Sebastian Galiani and Itai Sened, 50–66. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boldizzoni, Francesco. 2011. The Poverty of Clio: Resurrecting Economic History. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Buchanan, James M., and Gordon Tullock. 1962. The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Burki, Shahid Javed, and Guillermo E. Perry. 1998. Beyond the Washington Consensus: Institutions Matter. In World Bank Latin American and Caribbean Studies: Viewpoints. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
  8. Coase, Ronald H. 1937. The Nature of the Firm. Economica 4 (16): 386–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Colander, David. 2000. The Death of Neoclassical Economics. Journal of the History of Economic Thought 22 (2): 127–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Colander, David, Richard Holt, and J. Barkley Rosser. 2004. The Changing Face of Mainstream Economics. Review of Political Economy 16 (4): 485–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Eggertsson, Thráinn. 1990. Economic Behavior and Institutions: Principles of Neoinstitutional Economics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fine, Ben. 2000. Economics Imperialism and Intellectual Progress: The Present as the History of Economic Thought? History of Economics Review 32 (1): 10–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. ———. 2002. Economics Imperialism: A View from the Periphery. Review of Radical Political Economics 34 (2): 187–201.Google Scholar
  14. Fine, Ben, and Dimitris Milonakis. 2003. From Principle of Pricing to Pricing of Principle: Rationality and Irrationality in the Economic History of Douglass North. Comparative Studies in Society and History 45 (3): 546–570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. ———. 2009. From Economics Imperialism to Freakonomics: The Shifting Boundaries Between Economics and Other Social Sciences. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Galiani, Sebastian, and Itai Sened, eds. 2014. Institutions, Property Rights, and Economic Growth: The Legacy of Douglass North. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Granovetter, Mark. 1985. Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness. American Journal of Sociology 91 (3): 481–510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Greif, Avner. 1998. Historical and Comparative Institutional Analysis. The American Economic Review 88 (2): 80–84.Google Scholar
  19. ———. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Stanford: Stanford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Greif, Avner, and Chris Kingston. 2011. Institutions: Rules or Equilibria? In Political Economy of Institutions, Democracy, and Voting, ed. Gonzalo Caballero and Norman Schofield, 13–44. Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar
  21. Groenewegen, John, Frans Kerstholt, and Ad Nagelkerke. 1995. On Integrating Old and New Institutionalism: Douglass North Building Bridges. Journal of Economic Issues 29 (2): 467–475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Harcourt, Geoff, et al. 2016. Post-Keynesian Essays from Down Under Vol. III: Essays on Ethics. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  23. Heiner, Ronald A. 1983. The Origin of Predictable Behavior. The American Economic Review 73 (4): 560–595.Google Scholar
  24. Hodgson, Geoffrey M. 2001. How Economics Forgot History: The Problem of Historical Specificity in Social Science. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. ———. 2007. Meanings of Methodological Individualism. Journal of Economic Methodology 14 (2): 211–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Langlois, Richard N. 1990. Bounded Rationality and Behavioralism: A Clarification and Critique. Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics/Zeitschrift für die gesamte Staatswissenschaft 146 (4): 691–695.Google Scholar
  27. Mäki, Uskali. 1993. Social Theories of Science and the Fate of Institutionalism in Economics. In Rationality, Institutions, and Economic Methodology, ed. Bo Gustafsson, Christian Knudsen, and Uskali Mäki, 76–109. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. ———. 2009. Economics Imperialism: Concept and Constraints. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 39 (3): 351–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Matthews, R.C.O. 1986. The Economics of Institutions and the Sources of Growth. The Economic Journal 96 (384): 903–918.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ménard, Claude, and Mary M. Shirley. 2014. The Contribution of Douglass North to New Institutional Economics. In Institutions, Economic Growth, and Property Rights: The Legacy of Douglass North, ed. Sebastian Galiani and Itai Sened, 11–29. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Milonakis, Dimitris, and Ben Fine. 2007. Douglass North’s Remaking of Economic History: A Critical Appraisal. Review of Radical Political Economics 39 (1): 27–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mueller, Dennis C. 2003. Public Choice III. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Nee, Victor. 2005. The New Institutionalisms in Economics and Sociology. In Handbook of Economic Sociology, ed. Neil Smelser and Richard Swedberg, 49–74. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  34. ———. 2008. Economic Sociology and New Institutional Economics. In Handbook of New Institutional Economics, ed. Claude Ménard and Mary M. Shirley, 789–818. Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nelson, Richard R., and Sidney G. Winter. 1982. An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press/Belknap.Google Scholar
  36. North, Douglass C. 1977. Markets and Other Allocation Systems in History: The Challenge of Karl Polanyi. Journal of European Economic History 6 (3): 703–716.Google Scholar
  37. ———. 1981. Structure and Change in Economic History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  38. ———. 1986. The New Institutional Economics. Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics/Zeitschrift für die gesamte Staatswissenschaft 142 (1): 230–237.Google Scholar
  39. North, Douglass C., John Joseph Wallis, and Barry R. Weingast. 2009. Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Olson, Mancur. 1965. The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Ostrom, Elinor. 2007. Challenges and Growth: The Development of the Interdisciplinary Field of Institutional Analysis. Journal of Institutional Economics 3 (3): 239–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Ostrom, Elinor, and Vincent Ostrom. 2004. The Quest for Meaning in Public Choice. American Journal of Economics and Sociology 63 (1): 105–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Peukert, Helge. 2001. Bridging Old and New Institutional Economics: Gustav Schmoller and Douglass C. North, Seen with Old Institutionalists’ Eyes. European Journal of Law and Economics 11 (2): 91–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Richter, Rudolf. 2005. The New Institutional Economics: Its Start, Its Meaning, Its Prospects. European Business Organization Law Review 6 (2): 161–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. ———. 2015. Essays on New Institutional Economics. Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Rodrik, Dani, Arvind Subramanian, and Francesco Trebbi. 2004. Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development. Journal of Economic Growth 9 (2): 131–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Rutherford, Malcolm. 1994. Institutions in Economics: The Old and New Institutionalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. ———. 2001. Institutional Economics: Then and Now. Journal of Economic Perspectives 15 (3): 173–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Schotter, Andrew. 1981. The Economic Theory of Social Institutions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Vanberg, Viktor. 1988. Rules and Choice in Economics and Sociology. Jahrbuch für Neue Politische Ökonomie 7: 1–22.Google Scholar
  51. Wallis, John Joseph. 2015. Structure and Change in Economic History: The Ideas of Douglass North. CEPR Policy Portal. https://voxeu.org/article/ideas-douglass-north. Accessed 24 Jan 2018.
  52. Weintraub, E. Roy. 1979. Microfoundations: The Compatibility of Microeconomics and Macroeconomics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Williamson, Oliver E. 1973. Markets and Hierarchies: Some Elementary Considerations. American Economic Review 63 (2): 316–325.Google Scholar
  54. ———. 1975. Markets and Hierarchies: Analysis and Antitrust Implications. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  55. ———. 1981. The Economics of Organization: The Transaction Cost Approach. American Journal of Sociology 87 (3): 548–577.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. ———. 2000. The New Institutional Economics: Taking Stock, Looking Ahead. Journal of Economic Literature 38 (3): 595–613.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Williamson, Oliver E., and Sidney G. Winter. 1991. The Nature of the Firm: Origins, Evolution, and Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthijs Krul
    • 1
  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for Social AnthropologyBerlinGermany

Personalised recommendations