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Jakob de Haan

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Jakob de Haan

This essential research review carefully analyses some of the most influential papers focusing on the relationship between economic and political institutions and economic development. Economic institutions shape economic incentives, such the incentives to become educated, to save and invest, to innovate and to adopt new technologies. Although economic institutions are critical for determining whether a country is poor or prosperous, it is politics and political institutions that determine which economic institutions are present in a country. This review explores these critical relationships and the causes of economic growth, whilst bringing forth the legal, colonial and financial factors, which contribute to economic discrepancies across countries. The text will be a valuable tool for economic researchers and scholars interested in this important subject.
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Jakob de Haan

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Institutions and Evolution of Capitalism

Essays in Honour of Geoffrey M. Hodgson

Edited by Francesca Gagliardi and David Gindis

In just over 30 years, Geoff Hodgson has made substantial contributions to institutional economics, evolutionary economics, economic methodology, the history of economic thought and social theory. To mark his seminal work, this volume brings together original contributions by world-leading scholars in specific areas that have played a significant role in influencing his thinking or represent key debates to which he has contributed. Building on some of the most significant philosophical and methodological foundations underlying Hodgson's work, the volume is organised around the recurring themes of institutions, evolution and capitalism.
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Chris Berg, Sinclair Davidson and Jason Potts

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Understanding the Blockchain Economy

An Introduction to Institutional Cryptoeconomics

Chris Berg, Sinclair Davidson and Jason Potts

Blockchains are the distributed ledger technology that powers Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. But blockchains can be used for more than the transfer of tokens – they are a significant new economic infrastructure. This book offers the first scholarly analysis of the economic nature of blockchains and the shape of the blockchain economy. By applying the institutional economics of Ronald Coase and Oliver Williamson, this book shows how blockchains are poised to reshape the nature of firms, governments, markets, and civil society.
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Trent J. MacDonald

Much has been said about the vices and virtues of democracy. Democracy, said Benjamin Franklin, is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. Lord Acton warned that democracy is susceptible to a ‘tyranny of the majority’. Winston Churchill told us that democracy is actually the worst form of government . . . except for every other form that has been tried. Not without irony, he also said that the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. H. L. Mencken described democracy as the theory that people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. These quotes speak to the majoritarian dimension of democracy and the reality that even in the best-of-functioning systems 49 per cent of the people can remain unhappy. To be sure, in most modern democracies even a less-than-majority popular vote can carry an election, due to the peculiarities of electoral systems.5 Democracy, in other words, is a system to ensure that some people get what they want; it is not a system to allow everyone to do so.

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Trent J. MacDonald

The non-territorial governance concept resembles closely the political philosophy of panarchism—a specific form of governance (i.e. ‘-archy’) that encompasses all others (i.e. ‘pan-’). The central idea is that individuals should have maximum freedom to join and leave the jurisdiction of any government they choose, without having to change their current location. The classical foundations of panarchism were laid more than a century and a half ago, but underwent a long dormant period until something of a contemporary revival of panarchist political theory and philosophy in the late twentieth century and today (Tucker & de Bellis 2015): Panarchy (pan-archy: many chiefs; multi-government) is a system of competing, co-existing governments which conduct their operations within the same geographical territories without making any claims to those territories, and whose only powers derive from the consent of those they govern, i.e., those who voluntarily agree to submit to a particular government. These voluntary governments are constituted and operate on the basis of contractual personal law rather than the coercive territorial law of the Nation-State. (Taylor 1989)

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Trent J. MacDonald

Territorial political organisation forms the backbone of western liberal democracies. However, political economists are increasingly aware of how this form of government neglects the preferences of citizens, resulting in dramatic conflicts. The Political Economy of Non-Territorial Exit explores the theoretical possibility of ‘unbundling’ government functions and decentralising territorial governance.