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Understanding the Relationship between Institutions and Economic Development

By Ha-Joon Chang | World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) | April 19, 2005

United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) Working Paper 209 (2005)
In this paper, Ha-Joon Chang discusses how the theory on the role of institutions in development can be improved, by critically examining the current orthodox discourse on institutions and highlighting some of its key theoretical issues. After a discussion of some definitional problems, Chang discuss some problems arising from the widespread failure to distinguish between the forms and the functions of institution. Also critically examined are the excessive emphasis on property rights in the orthodox literature on institutions and development and a number of problems that arise from the simplistic view on institutional change that underly the orthodox view on institutional persistence.

Copyright 2005 UNU-WIDER For permission to use or futher distribute this paper, please contact the UNU-WIDER.

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