A Modern Reader in Institutional and Evolutionary Economics

A Modern Reader in Institutional and Evolutionary Economics

Key Concepts

Edited by Geoffrey M. Hodgson

In the 1990s, institutional and evolutionary economics emerged as one of the most creative and successful approaches in the modern social sciences. This timely reader gathers together seminal contributions from leading international authors in the field of institutional and evolutionary economics including Eileen Appelbaum, Benjamin Coriat, Giovanni Dosi, Sheila C. Dow, Bengt-Åke Lundvall, Uskali Mäki, Bart Nooteboom and Marc R. Tool. The emphasis is on key concepts such as learning, trust, power, pricing and markets, with some essays devoted to methodology and others to the comparison of different forms of capitalism. An extensive introduction places the contributions in the context of the historical and theoretical background of

Chapter 6: The institutional embeddedness of economic change: an appraisal of the 'evolutionary' and 'regulationist' research programmes

Benjamin Coriat and Giovanni Dosi

Subjects: economics and finance, evolutionary economics, institutional economics

Extract

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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