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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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Footnotes
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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.

Footnotes
References
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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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