A Research Agenda for New Institutional Economics
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A Research Agenda for New Institutional Economics

Edited by Claude Ménard and Mary M. Shirley

Consisting of 30 concise chapters written by top scholars, this Research Agenda probes the knowledge frontiers of issues long at the forefront of New Institutional Economics (NIE), including government, contracts and property rights. It examines pressing research questions surrounding norms, culture, and beliefs. It is designed to inform and inspire students and those starting their careers in economics, law and political science. Well-established scholars will also find the book invaluable in updating their understanding of crucial research questions and seeking new areas to explore.
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Chapter 22: Research frontiers in the institutional analysis of work

John S. Ahlquist


What it means to “have a job” or “go to work” is changing, yet we still have only a limited grasp of these changes and what they imply for everything from regulation to political institutions. The author links the new “task approach” to labor economics with theories of transaction costs to explore how changing technology impacts the contractual and regulatory organization of work.  He highlights important areas where both basic and policy-oriented research are needed, including data infrastructure; property rights in personal information; mismatch between regulatory policy and the work arrangements of the future; and the possibilities for collective action and political mobilization among workers.

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