North’s NIEH in Historical Overview
Krul gives a systematic overview of Douglass North’s New Institutionalist Economic History. He describes how North turned from early Marxist leanings to neoclassical methods in economic history, only to again abandon his previous thought and adopt the approach of New Institutionalist Economics. Krul then outlines the stages of the development of North’s theory in chronological order, emphasizing how each stage emerged to compensate for theoretical gaps in the previous one. The guiding thread is North’s early confrontation with the ideas of Karl Polanyi. As Krul shows, it was the research agenda North developed to refute Polanyi that drove all his subsequent thought. The chapter provides a clear summary of the core concepts of North’s approach and the main publications from which they derive.
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