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Institutions, Economic Performance and the Visible Hand

Theory and Evidence Ashok Chakravarti, Senior Visiting Lecturer, Department of Economics, University of Zimbabwe, Africa
The book challenges the conventional wisdom on the determinants of economic performance and provides an alternative vision of the functioning of an economic system. The author provides a structured survey which critically evaluates the theory and evidence of neoclassical approaches to growth and development. He then skillfully integrates insights from the old and new institutional economics into an original and comprehensive vision of the relationship between institutions, growth and economic development.
Extent: 256 pp
Hardback Price: $129.00 Web: $116.10
Publication Date: 2012
ISBN: 978 1 78100 137 0
Availability: In Stock
Paperback Price: $44.00 Web: $35.20
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 978 1 78100 624 5
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  • Development Studies
  • Development Economics
  • Development Studies
  • Economics and Finance
  • Development Economics
  • Institutional Economics
This timely study convincingly argues that it is not resources but the institutions which govern the interaction and decision-making of economic and political agents, that are the key factor in determining the economic performance of nations.

The book challenges the conventional wisdom on the determinants of economic performance and provides an alternative vision of the functioning of an economic system. The author provides a structured survey which critically evaluates the theory and evidence of neoclassical approaches to growth and development. He then skillfully integrates insights from the old and new institutional economics into an original and comprehensive vision of the relationship between institutions, growth and economic development.

Institutions, Economic Performance and the Visible Hand will be of special interest to academics, financial analysts and commentators, staff of international development agencies and NGOs, researchers and post-graduate students.
‘This book represents an important next step in the new institutional economics. Using this perspective, it undertakes a thorough re-examination of the problems of development.’
– Barry R. Weingast, Stanford University, US

‘Institutions, Economic Performance and the Visible Hand is a wide ranging, well-written, and provocative contribution to the study of political and economic organization. Ashok Chakravarti advances arguments and interpretations that are both interesting and, often, controversial. Although I find myself “arguing” with many of them, this is one of the many virtues of the book. I recommend the book to others who have an interest in institutional economics – why it is important, where it has been, and where it is going.’
– Oliver E. Williamson, Nobel Laureate in Economics, University of California, Berkeley, US

‘This is an ambitious and wide-ranging book, which seeks to overthrow the minimalist view of the role of institutions in economic systems contained in the standard economic model, and instead advocates a more active institution-building effort to promote the development of poor countries. This important contribution is to review and consolidate the themes and issues that emerge from a very large literature on the subject of institutions and economic development, and to coherently formulate hypotheses relating institutions to economic performance. This should be useful to a wide range of scholars.’
– John Toye, University of Oxford, UK
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction 2. The Neoclassical Model and its Critique 3. The Old and New Institutional Economics 4. Development Strategies and Performance: An Overview 5. Institutions and Governance: The New Empirical Evidence 6. Institutions in Economic History 7. Discontinuous Institutional Change 8. Southern Sudan: A Case Study in Discontinuous Institutional Change 9. Markets and Institutions 10. Mechanisms of Institutional Transition Appendices Bibliography Index