Making Sense of Institutions as a Factor Shaping Economic Performance

Posted: 7 Jun 2001

See all articles by Richard R. Nelson

Richard R. Nelson

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA)

Bhaven N. Sampat

Columbia University - Mailman School of Public Health

Abstract

There has recently been a resurgence of interest in how institutions affect economic performance. A review of this literature reveals that the concept of an "institution" means different things to different scholars, both within economics and across the social sciences. We discuss what factors unify the different definitions of institutions, and develop a concept of institutions useful for the analysis of economic performance, and economic growth in particular. Specifically, we develop the notion of institutions as standard "social technologies". Economic growth results from the co-evolution of physical and social technologies.

Keyword(s): Institutions, Economic growth, Evolutionary economics

JEL Classification: HO, LO, NO, O3

Suggested Citation

Nelson, Richard R. and Sampat, Bhaven N., Making Sense of Institutions as a Factor Shaping Economic Performance. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Vol. 44, No. 1, January 2001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=251482

Richard R. Nelson (Contact Author)

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA) ( email )

420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

Bhaven N. Sampat

Columbia University - Mailman School of Public Health ( email )

600 West 168th St. 6th Floor
New York, NY 10032
United States

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