Institutional Economics

Numerous theories have been constructed to provide reasons for economic growth differences between countries. As data became more readily available, cross-country empirical studies identified a set of variables that contributed to economic growth, including variables such as the investment in human and physical capital. Although most of the identified variables provide some support to economic growth, they still do not fully explain all growth differences. Furthermore, the analysis of these variables does not disclose, for instance, why two countries receiving the same amount of aid would spend it differently. The New Institutional Economics (NIE) accepts the importance of the variables identified, but extends the analysis of growth differences between countries to the link between policy choices and economic growth.

In the NIE literature it is widely accepted that policies should support the minimisation of transaction costs and the protection of property rights. It asks the question of what lies behind different policy decisions and explores why different countries take different routes to growth and development (or alternatively to economic stagnation). Policies originate as formal institutions, i.e. the "rules of the game". These formal institutions come into being due to various reasons and are mostly in support of groups in society that have the power to influence decision-making. Important also are the informal institutions, which encompass the culture, norms and codes of conduct that have been present for some time in the specific country. The effect of different existing informal institutions makes it impossible to duplicate formal institutions between countries and expect these formal institutions to lead to the same outcome.

Course instructors: Krige Siebrits and Sophia du Plessis

Work programme (Honours) 2020

Work programme (Master's) 2020

Please note that this module is not presented every year, but in alternate years (the module was presented in 2020 and will be presented again in 2022). 

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BER Weekly

8 August 2022
Last week we received the first batch of SA activity data for July. As expected, intense load-shedding took its toll on the manufacturing sector. However, some of the other data was more positive. The international section provides an overview of the US nonfarm payrolls for July which saw employment surge back above pre-pandemic levels and the unemployment...

Read the full issue
 

Upcoming Seminars

No seminars are currently listed. Please check back soon.
 
More...

BER Weekly

8 August 2022
Last week we received the first batch of SA activity data for July. As expected, intense load-shedding took its toll on the manufacturing sector. However, some of the other data was more positive. The international section provides an overview of the US nonfarm payrolls for July which saw employment surge back above pre-pandemic levels and the unemployment...

Read the full issue