Book Search:  

 

 
Google full text of our books:

bookjacket

Understanding the Process of Economic Change
Douglass C. North

Paperback | 2010 | $25.95 / £17.95 | ISBN: 9780691145952
200 pp. | 6 x 9 | 12 line illus. 1 table.
| SHOPPING CART

eBook | ISBN: 9781400829484 |
Our eBook editions are available from these online vendors

Reviews | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [HTML] or [PDF] pdf-icon

Google full text of this book:
 

In this landmark work, a Nobel Prize-winning economist develops a new way of understanding the process by which economies change. Douglass North inspired a revolution in economic history a generation ago by demonstrating that economic performance is determined largely by the kind and quality of institutions that support markets. As he showed in two now classic books that inspired the New Institutional Economics (today a subfield of economics), property rights and transaction costs are fundamental determinants. Here, North explains how different societies arrive at the institutional infrastructure that greatly determines their economic trajectories.

North argues that economic change depends largely on "adaptive efficiency," a society's effectiveness in creating institutions that are productive, stable, fair, and broadly accepted--and, importantly, flexible enough to be changed or replaced in response to political and economic feedback. While adhering to his earlier definition of institutions as the formal and informal rules that constrain human economic behavior, he extends his analysis to explore the deeper determinants of how these rules evolve and how economies change. Drawing on recent work by psychologists, he identifies intentionality as the crucial variable and proceeds to demonstrate how intentionality emerges as the product of social learning and how it then shapes the economy's institutional foundations and thus its capacity to adapt to changing circumstances.

Understanding the Process of Economic Change accounts not only for past institutional change but also for the diverse performance of present-day economies. This major work is therefore also an essential guide to improving the performance of developing countries.

Review:

"Anyone with an interest in world poverty can benefit from this carefully crafted and closely argued book. It is a pleasure and a delight to read."--Paul Ormerod, Times Higher Education

"[North] sets forth a radical reconceptualization of the task and methods of the social sciences in general and economics in particular, providing a glimpse at an economics that refuses to 'assume a can opener.'"--Will Wilkinson, Cato Journal

"[This book] provides a sweeping view of the relationships among human belief systems, social institutions, and what [North] calls 'the adaptive efficiency' of societies in coping with changes in demographics, technology, and other factors."--Richard N. Cooper, Foreign Affairs

"A courageous attempt to enlarge the arsenal of theoretical tools available for economists."--Diego Rios, Journal of Evolutionary Economics

Endorsement:

"Just as Douglass North's earlier classic, Institutions and Institutional Change, ushered in the revolution in understanding institutions that dominated the nineties, his new book, Understanding the Process of Economic Change, seeks an equally revolutionary change. North now integrates the cognitive component into this analysis: how the mind works, how we form beliefs and understandings about the world, and how societies solve--or fail to solve--the problems they face. This book is vintage North."--Barry Weingast, Professor of Political Science, Stanford University

More Endorsements

Table of Contents:

Preface vii
CHAPTER ONE: An Outline of the Process of Economic Change 1

PART I: THE ISSUES INVOLVED IN UNDERSTANDING ECONOMIC CHANGE 9
INTRODUCTION 11
CHAPTER TWO: Uncertainty in a Non-ergodic World 13
CHAPTER THREE: Belief Systems, Culture, and Cognitive Science 23
CHAPTER FOUR: Consciousness and Human Intentionality 38
CHAPTER FIVE: The Scaffolds Humans Erect 48
CHAPTER SIX: Taking Stock 65

PART II: THE ROAD AHEAD 81
INTRODUCTION 83
CHAPTER SEVEN: The Evolving Human Environment 87
CHAPTER EIGHT: The Sources of Order and Disorder 103
CHAPTER NINE: Getting It Right and Getting It Wrong 116
CHAPTER TEN: The Rise of the Western World 127
CHAPTER ELEVEN: The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union 146
CHAPTER TWELVE: Improving Economic Performance 155
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: Where Are We Going? 166

Bibliography 171
Index 183

This book has been translated into:

  • French
  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Swedish
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • Russian

Series:

Subject Areas:

Shopping Cart:

  • For ebooks:

Our eBook editions are available
from these online vendors:

  • Barnes & Noble Nook Store
  • Google Play eBook Store
  • Kno eBook Store
  • Many of our ebooks are available through
    library electronic resources including these platforms:

  • Books at JSTOR
  • Ebrary
  • Ebook Library
  • EBSCO Ebooks
  • MyiLibrary
  • Dawsonera (UK)

  • Shopping Cart:

    • For hardcover/paperback orders:

      For hardcover/paperback orders in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Australia

      Paperback: $25.95 ISBN: 9780691145952

      For hardcover/paperback orders in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and India, and Pakistan

      Paperback: £17.95 ISBN: 9780691145952

      Add to shopping cart

      Prices subject to change without notice

      File created: 11/10/2014

    Questions and comments to: webmaster@press.princeton.edu
    Princeton University Press

    New Book E-mails
    New In Print
    PUP Blog
    Videos/Audios
    Princeton APPS
    Sample Chapters
    Subjects
    Series
    Catalogs
    Princeton Legacy Library
    Textbooks
    Media/Reviewers
    Class Use
    Rights/Permissions
    Ordering
    Recent Awards
    Princeton Shorts
    Freshman Reading
    PUP Europe
    About Us
    Contact Us
    Links
    F.A.Q.
    PUP Home


    Bookmark and Share
    Send me emails
    about new books in:
    Economics
    Political Science and International Relations
    More Choices