University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal


  • G.M. Hodgson
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-611
JournalJournal of Institutional Economics
IssueSpecial issue 4
Early online date17 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2014


These reflections are prompted by the papers by Ménard (2014) and Ménard and Shirley (2014). Their essays centre on the path-breaking contributions to the 'new institutional economics' (NIE) by Ronald Coase, Douglass North and Oliver Williamson. In response, while recognising their substantial achievements, it is pointed out that these three thinkers had contrasting views on key points. Furthermore, Ménard's and Shirley's three 'golden triangle' NIE concepts - transaction costs, property rights and contracts - are themselves disputed. Once all this is acknowledged, differences of view appear within the NIE, raising interesting questions concerning its identity and boundaries, including its differences with the original institutionalism. There are sizeable overlaps between the two traditions. It is argued here that the NIE can learn from the original institutionalism, particularly when elaborating more dynamic analyses, and developing more nuanced, psychologically-grounded and empirically viable theories of human motivation.


This article has been published in a revised form in Journal of Institutional Economics, doi: This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © 2014 Millennium Economics Ltd, published by Cambridge University Press.

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