Cover

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Front Matter

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Contents

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pp. v-viii

Acknowledgments for the First Edition

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pp. ix-x

Acknowledgments for the Second Edition

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p. xi

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Preface to the First Edition

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pp. xiii-xv

The last two decades have seen some very significant changes in the direction of development in economic theory. Although neoclassical analysis has continued its domination of mainstream thinking in the profession, there has been a growing insistence on the part of certain contemporary scholars...

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Preface to the Second Edition

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pp. xvii-xviii

During the time that has elapsed since the first edition of Institutions and Economic Theory appeared in 1997, economists and other social scientists have shown an ever-increasing determination to explore the role institutions play in shaping economic and social behavior. ...

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1. Introductory Observations

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pp. 1-45

The central message of the New Institutional Economics is that institutions matter for economic performance. This is, of course, an old and inherently plausible intellectual position. Even writers in the strict neoclassical tradition such as Marshall (1920, 200) have recognized that institutional structure exerts an important...

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2. Transaction Costs

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pp. 47-77

A distinguishing feature of the New Institutional Economics is its insistence on the idea that transactions are costly. This change from the neoclassical position seems straightforward enough. But, from a theoretical standpoint, it is important to recognize that the move to positive transaction...

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3. Absolute Property Rights: Ownership of Physical Objects

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pp. 79-133

Who owns what? This is a basic question, factually and morally, that has existed throughout human history, since the expulsion of Adam and Eve from paradise. The existence of physical objects and things in general requires that there be regulation among men regarding the appropriation and use of things. ...

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4. Relative Property Rights Contractual Obligations

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pp. 135-198

People in a modem society operate within a social network of legally binding and legally nonbinding obligations into which they enter either voluntarily or through compulsion. Contractual obligations are legally binding. There are voluntarily assumed obligations like the obligation...

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5. Contract Theory

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pp. 199-290

This chapter deals with the formal modeling of some basic problems of the New Institutional Economics. Since there exists so far no full formal theory of bounded rationality, formal contract theory has to rely on perfect rationality— even though this assumption is strongly criticized by neoinstitutionalists. ...

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6. The New Institutional Economics Applied to Markets, Firms, and the State: General Remarks

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pp. 291-312

Having described and briefly illustrated the analytical methods of the New Institutional Economics, we are now in a position to illustrate more systematically the application of this new research style. We shall do this for three basic types of institutions (organizations): markets, firms, and states. ...

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7. The New Institutional Economics of the Market

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pp. 313-359

Coase (1988b, 7) argues that "although economists claim to study the working of the market, in modem economic theory the market itself has an even more shadowy role than the firm." And he goes on to say that "in the modem microeconomic textbook, the analysis deals with the determination...

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8. The New Institutional Economics of the Firm

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pp. 361-469

Like other areas of microeconomics, the theory of the firm has been undergoing substantial rethinking and revision during the last few decades. Traditional neoclassical analysis has been challenged by a variety of new approaches that seek to explain the basis of the firm, its structure...

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9. The New Institutional Economics of the State

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pp. 471-499

The state can be, and sometimes is, interpreted as a firm ("Japan Incorporated," "Standort Deutschland"), as a revenue or social product maximizing organization owned by a single ruler, a ruling class, or the people represented by its deputies. Both the state and the firm can be portrayed...

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10. Future Development of the New Institutional Economics

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pp. 501-554

Looking back at the evolution of the field we now know as the New Institutional Economics, it seems clear that much has already been achieved by the scholarly work undertaken in the area. Certainly, we have improved understanding today of the role institutions play in economic life. ...

Glossary

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pp. 555-569

References

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pp. 571-630

Author Index

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pp. 631-641

Subject Index

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pp. 643-653

Back Matter

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