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Beyond Institutions: Beliefs and Leadership

  • Lee J. Alston (a1)
Abstract

Beliefs shape the choices of institutions. Beliefs are generally stable, but shocks that cause sufficiently unexpected economic and political outcomes make beliefs malleable. Within these windows of opportunity, leadership can play a role in shaping a new belief among the dominant organizations that in turn generates new institutions and over time a possible transition to a new developmental trajectory.

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For comments on my address I thank Eric Alston, Jeremy Atack, Federica Carugati, David Gerard, Richard Hunt, Timothy Larsen, Gary Libecap, Dean Lueck, Larry Neal, Richard Sylla, John Wallis, and participants at a seminar at Vanderbilt University. I thank Timothy Larsen for research assistance. For comments on the written version of my address, I thank Ann Carlos and William Collins, the editors of this Journal.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Lee J. Alston and A. Gallo Andrés . “Electoral Fraud, the Rise of Peron and Demise of Checks and Balances in Argentina.” Explorations in Economic History 47, no. 2 (2010): 179–97.

Max M. Edling A Revolution in Favor of Government: Origins of the US Constitution and the Making of the American State. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Thráinn Eggertsson . Imperfect Institutions: Possibilities and Limits of Reform. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2005.

Avner Greif . Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Larry Neal . “A Shocking View of Economic History.” Journal of Economic History 60, no. 2 (2000): 317–34.

Douglass C. North Beyond the New Economic History.” Journal of Economic History 34, no. 1 (1974): 17.

Douglass C. North Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Douglass C. North , and Paul Thomas Robert . The Rise of the Western World: A New Economic History. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1973.

Douglass C. North , Joseph Wallis John , and R. Weingast Barry . Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

William H. Riker The Heresthetics of Constitution-Making: The Presidency in 1787, with Comments on Determinism and Rational Choice.” American Political Science Review 78, no. 1 (1984): 116.

Norman Schofield . Architects of Political Change: Constitutional Quandaries and Social Choice Theory. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Kenneth A. Shepsle Rule Breaking and Political Imagination. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2017.

Ezra F. Vogel Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011.

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The Journal of Economic History
  • ISSN: 0022-0507
  • EISSN: 1471-6372
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-economic-history
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