August, 2017

The Decline and Rise of Institutions

A Modern Survey of the Austrian Contribution to the Economic Analysis of Institutions
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Institutions are the formal or informal 'rules of the game' that facilitate economic, social, and political interactions. These include such things as legal rules, property rights, constitutions, political structures, and norms and customs. The main theoretical insights from Austrian economics regarding private property rights and prices, entrepreneurship, and spontaneous order mechanisms play a key role in advancing institutional economics. The Austrian economics framework provides an understanding for which institutions matter for growth, how they matter, and how they emerge and can change over time. Specifically, Austrians have contributed significantly to the areas of institutional stickiness and informal institutions, self-governance and self-enforcing contracts, institutional entrepreneurship, and the political infrastructure for development.