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Are institutional transplants viable? An examination in light of the proposals by Jeremy Bentham

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 June 2012

Facultad de Gobierno & Facultad de Economía y Negocios, Universidad del Desarrollo, Av. Plaza 680, Santiago, Chile


The problem of institutional transplantation is an important issue. In Jeremy Bentham's work, we find practical as well as theoretical proposals regarding this problem. Here, we view his work as an invitation to reflect on the overall nature of the question of institutional design and transplantation. The transfer of institutions requires knowledge of ‘place and time’ that will allow for an accommodation of the transferred institutions to their new soil. However, an awareness of this type of knowledge and thus relying on its actually being available is not viable from a practical point of view. This is due to the fact that the core of informal institutions is tacit, which imposes a fundamental constraint on the process of institutional transplantation; informal norms must co-exist with formal rules, and such merging requires some accommodation of both types of rules.

Research Article
Copyright © Millennium Economics Ltd 2012

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