Edited by Geoffrey M. Hodgson
Chapter 6: The institutional embeddedness of economic change: an appraisal of the 'evolutionary' and 'regulationist' research programmes
6. The institutional embeddedness of economic change: an appraisal of the ‘evolutionary’ and ‘regulationist’ research programmes Benjamin Coriat and Giovanni Dosi* 1. INTRODUCTION There are at least two complementary ways to present the ideas that follow. One is with reference to some ‘grand’ questions that have faced social sciences since their inception, namely, how do institutions shape the behaviour of individual agents, within and outside the economic arena? And what are institutions in the ﬁrst place? How do they come about and how do they change? What are the relationships between ‘agency’ and structure? And also, nearer economic concerns, what is the role of institutions in economic coordination and change? Another, more modest, way of tackling some of these grand issues is to see how this is done in practice by different research programmes which nonetheless share a common preoccupation with understanding economic change as a historical, institutionally embedded process. This is what we shall attempt to do in this work, by discussing the links, overlaps, tensions and possible interbreedings between an emerging evolutionary theory of economic dynamics and various strands of institutionalist theories, with particular attention to the regulation approach. Some deﬁnitions of what we mean by those terms and of where we put the boundaries of different theories are in order. We shall introduce these, in a rather telegraphic fashion, in sections 2–4. In section 5 we sketch, as an illustration, interpretations of the growth process in general and, in particular, the case – very familiar to...
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