A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Critical Transitions

NBER Workin paper no. 22144, 2016

48 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2016 Last revised: 6 Jun 2016

See all articles by Lee J. Alston

Lee J. Alston

Ostrom Workshop; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Marcus Andre Melo

Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE)

Bernardo Mueller

Universidade de Brasilia

Carlos Pereira

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 1, 2016

Abstract

Critical transitions for a country are historical periods when the powerful organizations in a country shift from one set of beliefs about how institutions (the formal and informal rules of the game) will affect outcomes to a new set of beliefs. Critical transitions can lead a country toward more openness politically and economically or toward a more exclusionary society. Economic and political development is contextual; that is, there is no recipe. Periods of relative persistence are the norm with changes in institutions at the margin. We develop a framework consisting of several interconnected relatively unexplored concepts that we first define in a static context and then utilize to show how they produce a dynamic of institutional change or persistence. The key concepts include: windows of opportunity, beliefs, and leadership. Our major contribution is wedding the concepts of windows of opportunity, beliefs, and leadership to the dominant network, institutions, and economic and political outcomes to form a dynamic. We apply the framework illustratively to understand economic and political development in Argentina over the past 100 years.

JEL Classification: N4, O10

Suggested Citation

Alston, Lee J. and Melo, Marcus André and Mueller, Bernardo and Pereira, Carlos, A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Critical Transitions (April 1, 2016). NBER Workin paper no. 22144, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2763105 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2763105

Lee J. Alston (Contact Author)

Ostrom Workshop ( email )

513 N. Park Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47408–3895
United States

HOME PAGE: http://ostromworkshop.indiana.edu/alston/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Marcus André Melo

Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE) ( email )

Cidade Universitária
Cidade Universitária, Pernambuco 50670-901
Brazil

Bernardo Mueller

Universidade de Brasilia ( email )

Dept. de Economia
Universidade de Brasilia
Brasilia, DF 70910-900
Brazil
55 61 981110349 (Phone)
55 61 3349-1303 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://bpmmueller.wixsite.com/bernardo-mueller

Carlos Pereira

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) ( email )

R. Dr. Neto de Araujo 320 cj 1307
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 22250-900
Brazil

HOME PAGE: http://ebape.fgv.br/en/faculty-members/carlos-pereira

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
74
rank
299,896
Abstract Views
415
PlumX Metrics
!

Under construction: SSRN citations will be offline until July when we will launch a brand new and improved citations service, check here for more details.

For more information