Mainstreams of research on institutional change in the multidimensional viewpoint

Marek Piosik



Motivation: The role of institutions in the social and economic development is widely recognized in recent literature on economics of institutions. Economic history provides many examples of bad and good institutional structures, environments, and ways of organizing the social life and relationships between individuals, which is the main reason for institutions to arise. Simultaneously diversity of institutional solutions can be perceived as cultural wealth from which societies can choose in order to find proper instruments to solve various problems in different situations.

Aim: The present paper is an attempt to review main areas of research into institutional changes and synthesize them into mainstreams, which are also described in the multi-faceted viewpoint to prove the complexity and broad scope that need to be tackled by institutional economists to investigate institutional changes.

Results: The article analyses literature on institutional change and several dozen dimensions of the research areas that have a significant impact on the discussion on the mechanisms and environments of evolution of institutions. The review of the mainstreams is divided into five identified basic groups. In the result’s section the multidimensional perspective of the research area of institutional changes is proposed as it helps to grasp many aspects that play the fundamental role in understanding the process of institutional change, which is an indispensable step towards a development of the general theory of institutional change.


institutions; institutional change; theory of institutional change; evolution of the institution

Full Text:



Aoki, M. (2007). Endogenizing institutions and institutional changes. Journal of Institutional Economics, 3(1). doi:10.1017/S1744137406000531.

Buchanan, J.M. (1968). The demand and supply of public goods. Retrieved 25.03.2018 from

Bush, P.D. (1987). The theory of institutional change. Journal of Economic Is-sues, 21(3). doi:10.1080/00213624.1987.11504697.

Caballero, G., & Soto-Onate, D. (2015). The diversity and rapprochement of theories of institutional change: original institutionalism and new institu-tional economics. Journal of Economic Issues, 49(4). doi:10.1080/00213624.2015.1105021.

Cohen, S.I. (2014). Different institutional behavior in different economic sys-tems: theory and evidence on diverging systems worldwide. Economic Sys-tems, 38(2). doi:10.1016/j.ecosys.2013.08.003.

Crawford, S.E.S., & Ostrom, E. (1995). A grammar of institutions. American Political Science Review, 89(3). doi:10.2307/2082975.

Davis, L., & North, D. (1970). Institutional change and American economic growth: a first step towards a theory of institutional innovation. The Journal of Economic History, 30(1). doi:10.1017/s0022050700078633.

Djankov, S., Glaeser, E., La Porta, R., Lopez-de-Silanes, F., & Shleifer, A. (2003). The new comparative economics. Journal of Comparative Economics, 31(4). doi:10.1016/j.jce.2003.08.005.

Hargrave, T.J., & Van de Ven, A.H. (2006). A collective action model of in-stitutional innovation. Academy of Management Review, 31(4). doi:10.5465/amr.2006.22527458.

Holcombe, R.G. (1997). A theory of the theory of public goods. The Review of Austrian Economics, 10(1). doi:10.1007/BF02538141.

Jackson, G., & Deeg, R. (2008). From comparing capitalisms to the politics of institutional change. Review of International Political Economy, 15(4). doi:10.1080/09692290802260704.

Kosfeld, M., Okada, A., & Riedl, A. (2009). Institution formation in public goods games formation in public goods games. American Economic Review, 99(4). doi:10.1257/aer.99.4.1335.

Mahoney, J., & Thelen, K. (2010). A theory of gradual institutional change. In J. Mahoney, & K. Thelen (Eds.), Explaining institutional change. Ambiguity, agency, and power. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Nooteboom, B. (2007). Social capital, institutions and trust. Review of Social Economy, 65(1). doi:10.1080/00346760601132154.

North, D. (1990). Institutions, institutional change and economic performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511808678.

Ostrom, E., & Basurto, X. (2011). Crafting analytical tools to study institution-al change. Journal of Institutional Economics, 7(3). doi:10.1017/S1744137410000305.

Rodrik, D. (2008). Second-best institutions. American Economic Review, 98(2). doi:10.1257/aer.98.2.100.

Roland, G. (2004). Understanding institutional change: fast-moving and slow-moving institutions. Studies in Comparative International Development, 38(40. doi:10.1007/BF02686330.

Samuelson, P.A., & Nordhaus, W. (1998). Ekonomia 2. Warszawa: PWN.

Williamson, O.E. (2000). The new taking institutional economics: taking stock, looking ahead. Journal of Economic Literature, 38(3). doi:10.1257/jel.38.3.595.

ISSN 1898-2255 (print)
ISSN 2392-1625 (online)

Partnerzy platformy czasopism