Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello

Institutional Change

  • Christopher KingstonEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_259

Definition

Institutions are durable; that is precisely what makes them meaningful and important. But institutions also sometimes change. This entry compares a variety of theoretical approaches to understanding the process of institutional change. Some authors treat institutional change as a centralized, collective-choice process in which rules are explicitly specified by a collective political entity, such as the community or “the state,” and individuals and organizations engage in collective action, conflict, and bargaining to try to change these rules for their own benefit. Others emphasize the “spontaneous” emergence of institutions as an evolutionary process, in which new institutional forms periodically emerge and undergo some kind of decentralized selection process as they compete against alternative institutions. Still others combine elements of evolution and design. We differentiate a variety of approaches to the interaction between formal and informal rules and explore the...

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Further Reading

  1. Aoki M (2001) Towards a comparative institutional analysis. MIT Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Kingston C, Caballero G (2009) “Comparing theories of institutional change”. J Inst Econ 5(2):151Google Scholar
  3. Greif A, Kingston C (2011) Institutions: rules or equilibria? In: Caballero G, Schofield N (eds) Political economy of institutions, democracy and voting. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Amherst CollegeAmherstUSA