Policy Brief
Stranger than Fiction? Understanding Institutional Changes and Economic Development

The volume Institutional Change and Economic Development fills some important gaps in our understanding of the relationship between institutional changes and economic development. It does so by developing new discourses on the 'technology of institution building' and by providing detailed case studies-historical and more recent-of institution building. It is argued that functional multiplicity, the importance of informal institutions, unintended consequences, and intended 'perversion' of institutions all imply that the orthodox recipe of importing 'best practice' formal institutions does not work. While denying the existence of universal formulas, the volume distills some general principles of institutions building from theoretical explorations and case studies.