Document Type : Research Paper


PhD in Economics, Faculty of Economics, Tehran University


“Institutions matter”. This is what we now see repeatedly in economic texts. But, some economists mentioned this truth more than a century ago. By asserting that mainstream economics has ignored institutions, these economists established a new paradigm, named institutional economics, which was, according to their manifesto, “the only way to the right sort of theory.” The crucial point, however, was that this new paradigm was introducing a critical element as the main unit of analysis that could well destroy all aspects of conventional economics.
Now, more than one hundred years after the beginning of institutional economics, the science of economics has witnessed many valuable endeavors to imbed institutions in economic analysis. Although valuable, but these efforts has made the concept of institutions more complicated. Indeed, as mentioned by J. R. Commons, from the early stages of the evolution of institutionalism, this concept was tangled. However, after the emergence of New Institutional Economics, we can see more difficulties. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the meaning and concept of institutions and its relation with individuals. Another issue that this paper is going to shed some light on it, is the role of institutions in economic occasions. Finally, the paper will concentrate on one important and neglected question, which was the main source of Veblen’s attack on orthodoxy, that is, why did mainstream economics ignore institutions?


باربر،ویلیام جی (1370)، سیر اندیشه اقتصادی، ترجمة حبیب‌الله تیموری، تهران، انتشارات جامعه و اقتصاد.
تفضلی، فریدون (1387)، تاریخ عقاید اقتصادی: از افلاطون تا دوره معاصر، تهران، نشر نی، چاپ هشتم.
هانت، ای .ک (1381)، تکامل نهادها و ایدئولوژی‌های اقتصادی، ترجمة سهراب بهداد، تهران، انتشارات آگاه،چاپ اول.
کوزر، لوئیس آلفرد (1368)، زندگی و اندیشه بزرگان جامعه‌شناسی، ترجمة محسن ثلاثی، تهران، انتشارات علمی، چاپ یازدهم.
لنکستر، لین (1383)، خداوندان اندیشه سیاسی، ترجمة علی رامین، تهران، انتشارات علمی و فرهنگی، چاپ سوم.
مک‌کلاسکی، دانلد ان (1381)، خطابه در علم اقتصاد، ترجمة بایزید مردوخی، انتشارات سازمان مدیریت و برنامه‌ریزی کشور.
نورث، داگلاس سی (1377)، نهادها، تغییرات نهادی و عملکرد اقتصادی، ترجمة محمدرضا معینی، انتشارات سازمان برنامه و بودجه.
وبلن، تورستین (1383)، نظریه طبقه مرفه، ترجمة فرهنگ ارشاد، تهران، نشر نی.
ویلیامسون،‌ اولیور (1381)، اقتصاد نهادگرای جدید: دستاوردهای گذشته و نگاهی به فرارو، ترجمة دکتر محمود متوسلی، مجله برنامه و بودجه، شماره 73.
Basu, Kaushik (2001), On the Goals of Development, in: Frontiers of Development Economics :the Future in Perspective. Edited by: Meier, Gerald M & Joseph E. Stiglitz, Oxford University Press.
Boland, Lawrence A (1979), Knowledge and the Role of Institutions in Economic Theory, Journal of Economic Issues, Vol. XIII, No. 4.
Chavance, Bernard (2009), Institutional Economics, Translated from the French by Francis Wells, Routledge.
Coase, R (1937), The Nature of the Firm, Economica, New Series, Vol. 4, No. 16.
Commons, John R (1931), Institutional Economics, The American Economic Review, Vol. 21, No.4.
Cooley, C. H (1918), The Institutional Character of Pecuniary Valuation American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 18.
Dequech ,David (2002), The Demarcation Between the "Old" and the "New" Institutional Economics: Recent Complications, Journal of Economic Issue, Vol. XXXVI, No. 2.
Dugger, William M (1995), Douglass C. North's New Institutionalism, Journal of Economic Issuse, Vol. XXVIX, No. 2.
Fiori, Stefano (2001), Alternative Visions of Change in Douglass North's New Institutionalism, Journal of Economic Issues, Vol. 36, No 4.
Hamilton, Walton H (1919), The Institutional Approach to Economic Theory" The American Economic Review , Vol .9 , No.1, Supplement, Papers and Proceedings of the Thirty Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association.
Hamilton, David (1986), Technology and Institutions Are Neither Journal of Economic Issues , Vol. XX, No.2.
Hausman, Daniel, M., Philosophy of Economics, Entry in Rout Ledge Encyclopedia.
Homan , Paul t (1932), An Appraisal of Institutional Economics The American Economic Review, vol.22.No.1.
Hodgson, Geoffrey M (1998), The Approach of Institutional Economics, Journal of Economic Literature, Vol. XXXVI.
Hodgson, Geoffrey M (2000), What is the Essence of Institutional Economics? Journal of Economic Issues, Vol. XXXIV, No.2.
Hodgson, Geoffrey M (2004), the Evolution of Institutional Economics; Agency, Structure and Darwinism in American Institutionalism, Routledge.
Hodgson, Geoffrey M (2006), What Are Institutions? Journal of Economic Issues, Vol. XL , No.1.
Hodgson, G. M (2006b), Economics in the shadows of Darwin and Marx: Essays of Institutional and Evolutionary Themes, Edward Elgar.
Mayhew, A (1989), Contrasting Origins of the two Institutionalism: the Social Scieence Context” Review of Political Economy, Vol. 1, No. 3.
Mitchell, Wesley C (1910), The Rationality of Economic Activity II, The Journal of Political Economy, vol.18, No.3.
Nelson, Richard R (2002), Bringing Institutions into Evolutionary Growth Theory, J. Evol Econ (2002) 12.
North, D. C (2003), Understanding the Process of Economic Change, Forum Series on the Role of Institutions in Promoting Economic Growth, Forum 7.
North, D. C (2005), Understanding the Process of Economic Change, Princton University press.
Rosenbaum, Eckehard F (2001), Culture, Cognitive Models, and the Performance of Institutions in Transformation Culture, Journal of Economic Issues,Vol. 35.
Rutherford, Malcolm (1995), The old and the New Institutionalism: Can Bridges Be Built? Journal of Economic Issues, Vol. XXIX, No.2.
Rutherford, Malcolm (1994), Institutions in Economics, Cambridge University Press.
Rutherford, M (2007), American Institutional Economics in the Interwar Period, in A Companion to the History of Economic Thought, Edited by: Warren J. Samuels, Jeff E. Biddle, and John B. Davis, Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Radzicki, Michael J (2003), Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Forrester, and a Foundation for Evolutionary Economics, Journal of Economic Issues, Vol. XXXVII, No.1.
Samuels, Warren J (1990), The Old Versus the New Institutionalism, Review of Political Economy, 201.
Scharpf, Fritz W (2000), Institution in ComparativePolicy Research,comparative political studies,No 33.
Schumpeter, Joseph. A (1981), History of Economic Analysis, Routledge.
Schumpeter, Joseph A (1965), The theory of Economic Development, Oxford University press.
Shirley, Mary M (2008), Institutions and Development, In: Handbook ofNew Institutional Economics, edited by: Claude Menarde and Mary M. Shirley, Springer.
Smith, Adam (1776), An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Edited by: Edwin cannan.
Stein, Johan (1997), how Institutional Learn: A Socia-cognitive perspective, Journal of Economic Issues, Vol. XXXI, No.3.
Veblen, Thorstein (1898), Why is Economics not an Evolutionary Science?, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol.12, No.4.
Veblen, Thorstein (1909), the Limitation of Marginal Utility, the Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 17, No.9.
Viskovatoff, A (2003), Rationalism and Mainstream Economics, Journal of Economic Methodolgy 10:3.
Yandle, Bruce (1990), The Decline and Rise of Political Economy, European Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 6.