Something new and, as always, useful from Anne Mayhew.


Anne Mayhew

An Introduction to Institutional Economics: Tools for Understanding Evolving Economies

The American Economist, 2018, Vol. 63(1) 3–17



The analytical approach, that is, the Original Institutional Economics (OIE), is shown to be founded on three interrelated concepts—enculturation, empiricism in aid of both understanding and policy, and evolution—that are crucial to understanding economic systems. The theoretical framework that has been constructed by institutional economists over the past 100 or so years is explored as are some of the theoretical controversies of recent decades. Differences and similarities between OIE and textbook economics, as well as noninstitutionalist heterodox approaches to economics, are delineated. Finally, three recent works of Institutional Economics—a study of the use of consumer credit, of the labor market associated with casinos, and differences among markets—are used to illustrate the OIE approach in use.