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Toward a Comparative Institutional Analysis

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Toward a Comparative Institutional Analysis

Book Detail

Author/Editor(s): Masahiko Aoki
Publication Date: November 30, 2001
ISBN-10: 0262011875
ISBN-13: 978-0262011877
Language: English
Edition: 1
Publisher: The MIT Press
Size: 3.49 MB
Format: pdf

Book Description

Markets are one of the most salient institutions produced by humans, and economists have traditionally analyzed the workings of the market mechanism. Recently, however, economists and others have begun to appreciate the many institution-related events and phenomena that have a significant impact on economic performance. Examples include the demise of the communist states, the emergence of Silicon Valley and e-commerce, the European currency unification, and the East Asian financial crises.

In this book 'Toward a Comparative Institutional Analysis', Masahiko Aoki uses modern game theory to develop a conceptual and analytical framework for understanding issues related to economic institutions. The wide-ranging discussion considers how institutions evolve, why their overall arrangements are robust and diverse across economies, and why they do or do not change in response to environmental factors such as technological progress, global market integration, and demographic change.

About the Author

Masahiko Aoki is Henri H. and Tomoye Takahashi Professor of Japanese Studies in the Department of Economics at Stanford University.


Good economic theory mixes rigorous mathematical reasoning with intuitive motivations and stories, which can make the task of presenting or evaluating cutting-edge research a treacherous balancing act. In this one-of-a-kind essay, Thomson offers an armful of good advice and tricks of the trade to economists young and old, lest any of them forget that a bad container can spoil its contents.

--Hervé Moulin, George Peterkin Professor of Economic Theory, Rice University, and Editor of Mathematical Social Sciences

In this book Professor Aoki does a remarkable job of animating recent developments in the theory of contracts and institutions. This theory is used to explain the form and structure of diverse institutions, ranging from the regulation of irrigation systems in Tokugawa Japan to the rise of Silicon Valley. This book is an astounding achievement that is sure to become a classic.

--W. Bentley MacLeod, Professor of Economics and Law, University of Southern California

This book has an outstanding intellectual sweep, covering game theory and abstract economics on the one hand, and a wide diversity of anthropological examples and illustrations from the real world, on the other.

--Kaushik Basu, Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor, Cornell University

This volume presents the results of decades of imaginative research by Fields on the most critical set of issues in development today. Distribution and Development goes beyond examining the relationship between growth and distribution to include the burgeoning concern with poverty alleviation, as well as such innovative topics as income mobility and economic well-being. An excellent text for advanced undergraduate and graduate students.

--Gustav Ranis, Frank Altschul Professor of International Economics, Yale University

If the new institutional economics is to realize its promise, it must go beyond the description, insights, and hypotheses so far developed and turn them into a systematic theoretical framework. Masahiko Aoki's Towards a Comparative Institutional Analysis takes us a long way in doing just that.

--Douglass C. North, Department of Economics, University of Washington St. Louis
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