Abstracts from "A Research Agenda for New Institutional Economics" I

By Claude Ménard and Mary M. Shirley

We posted a brief summary of this forthcoming volume.* The table of contents can be found here. Below are three abstracts of chapters to give you a flavor of the book.

Contracting in Innovative Industries

By Richard Gil (Johns Hopkins University) & Giorgio Zanarone (CUNEF)

Given the increasing role of creation and innovation in the world economy and the pervasive informational problems that plague contractual relationships between firms and creative agents, innovative industries constitute a natural and intriguing battlefield for researchers interested in the study of organizations, institutions, and governance. This paper draws on organizational economics to illustrate the contracting frictions and governance solutions that arise in industries and processes where innovative and creative efforts are the key inputs. We point out open questions and gaps that emerge from the existing empirical evidence and provide recommendations that we hope will inform future researchers, industry practitioners, and policymakers.

Corruption and the New Institutional Economics

By Miriam Golden (UCLA)

Corruption is common in poor and middle-income countries, but relatively infrequent in wealthy ones. How does corruption decline with modernization? In this essay, I consider two ways that analytical tools that derive from the New Institutional Economics may contribute to a better understanding of corruption and modernization. First, even where laws prohibit corruption, it often persists. How do cultures of corruption develop, and how can they be changed? Second, how do anti-corruption interests organize politically to change institutions that facilitate patronage and discretion, replacing them with meritocratic, formula-bound ones?

Data Science for Institutional and Organizational Economics

By Jens Prüfer (Tilburg University) and Patricia Prüfer (Tilburg University)

To which extent can data science methods – such as machine learning, text analysis, or sentiment analysis – push the research frontier in the social sciences? This essay briefly describes the most prominent data science techniques that lend themselves to analyses of institutional and organizational governance structures. We elaborate on several examples applying data science to analyze legal, political, and social institutions and sketch how specific data science techniques can be used to study important research questions that could not (to the same extent) be studied without these techniques. We conclude by comparing the main strengths and limitations of computational social science with traditional empirical research methods and its relation to theory.

*A Research Agenda for New Institutional Economics, Claude Ménard and Mary M. Shirley, eds., Edward Elgar Publishers, forthcoming in 2018.