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Making Sense of Institutions as a Factor Shaping Economic Performance
Richard Nelson y Bhaven N. Sampat [pdf] [html]

[Key words: institutions, economic growth, rutines, social technologies, physical technologies JEL: B30, B41, K00, L10, O10]

There has recently been a resurgence of interest in how institutions affect economic performance. A review of this literature reveals that the concept of an ‘institution’ means different things to different scholars, both within economics and across the social sciences. This paper discusses what factors unify the different definitions of institutions, and develops a concept of institutions useful for the analysis of economic performance, and economic growth in particular. Specifically, it develops the notion of institutions as standard ‘social technologies’. Economic growth results from the co-evolution of physical and social technologies.

How Rational is Popper’s Rationality Principle?
Boris Salazar [pdf] [html]

[Key words: rationality, economic methodology, evolutionary games, social conventions, Nash equilibrium, JEL: B41, D79, C70]

This paper shows the relevance of Popper's Rationality Principle (RP) for the appraisal of the impressive mass work emerging, in recent years, in the fields of rationality, learning, evolutionary games and behavioral economic theory. In contradistinction to the well-known rigid criteria of the falsacionist Popper, the RP covers a large and diverse spectrum of behaviors compatible with the minimal idea of ‘acting in accordance with the situation’. Its relevance to understand the formation of social conventions or how agents learn ‘to play Nash equilibrium’ is argued at length here.

Multicausality, Impunity and Violence: An Alternative Approach
Fernando Gaitán Daza [pdf] [html]

[Key words: violence, impunity, justice system, organized crime, JEL: K 14, K42, K49]

This paper criticizes multicausal and penal impunity explanations of violence and crime. It shows the analytical limits of identifying state and social institutional failure with objective causes of violence. But also highlights that impunity indicators cannot be confused with impunity itself. After showing those limits, it proposes an alternative approach based on two central facts that have been ignored: organized crime nature and the breakdown of colombian justice and security systems.


Revista de Economía Institucional
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