institutional economics

School of economics that flourished in the U.S. in the 1920s and '30s, which viewed the evolution of economic institutions as part of the broader process of cultural development. Thorstein Veblen laid the foundation for institutionalism with his criticism of traditional economic theory. He tried to replace the concept of people as the makers of economic decisions with a more realistic image of people as influenced by changing customs and institutions. John R. Commons emphasized the collective action of various groups in the economy, viewed within a system of continually evolving institutions and laws. Other U.S. institutional economists include Rexford Tugwell and Wesley C. Mitchell. Seealso classical economics, German historical school of economics.

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Institutionalism can refer to:

Economic school that approaches economic issues from a macro sociological point of view.A main figure in this movement was Thorstein Veblen.

  • New institutional economics: an economic school that analyzes social norms, organizational arrangements etc.
  • Historical institutionalism: a social science method of inquiry that uses institutions as subject of study in order to find, measure and trace patterns and sequences of social, political, economic behavior and change across time and space.
  • Institutionalism in political parties: an approach that sees political parties as having some capacities for adaptation, but also sees them as being "prisoners of their own history as an institution".
  • Institutionalism in international relations: a branch of international relations theory that holds that the international system is not—in practice—anarchic, but that it has an implicit or explicit structure which determines how states will act within the system.

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