Geoffrey M. Hodgson. The Evolution of Institutions: An Agenda for Future Theoretical Research

Geoffrey M. Hodgson. The Evolution of Institutions: An Agenda for Future Theoretical Research

This article reviews some theoretical questions concerning the processes of institutional evolution. The necessity of assuming the prior existence of some other institutions, such as language, is underlined. Arguably, the emergence and stability of some institutions may be enhanced by processes of ‘downward causation’ through which institutional constraints lead to the formation of concordant habits of thought and behaviour. Having pointed to the importance of pre-existing, as well as emerging, institutions, this article reconsiders the possible role of the state in the emergence and maintenance of some institutions, in particular money and property. An agenda for future research is outlined.


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Keywords: Evolutionary Economics

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