Law, Informal Rules and Economic Performance

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Capitalism has outperformed all other systems and maintained a positive growth rate since it began. Svetozar Pejovich makes the case within this book that a major reason for the success of capitalism lies in the efficiency-friendly incentives of its basic institutions, which continuously adjust the rules of the game to the requirements of economic progress. The analysis throughout is consistent and is supported by evidence. Key components of the proposed theory are the rule of law, the market for institutions, the interaction thesis, the carriers of change, and the process of changing formal and informal institutions.

Svetozar Pejovich is Professor Emeritus of Economics at the Texas A&M University; Senior Research Fellow at the International Centre for Economic Research, Turin, Italy; a Visiting Professor from University of Montenegro and a Fellow at the Goldwater Institute and Heritage Foundation. He has written or edited many books.

'This is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand why Western capitalism has outperformed all other economic systems. Professor Pejovich explains how the institutions of capitalism, especially those based on common law, make for excellence, even in comparison with Western civil law countries. He presents a compelling theory of how systems evolve through the interactions of formal and informal institutions, an analysis that has deep significance for economic reform proposals throughout the world.' John H. Moore, Grove City College, US

'There are many books on the virtues of capitalism and capitalism as a moral system. Steve Pejovich avoids that mistake. Capitalism, for him, is a system based on human behavior. It survives because it meets the needs that individuals face and provides opportunities that individuals are able to accept. Unlike the utopian visions that have competed against capitalism, it does not impose the vision of a self-selected group. It responds to the desires and wishes of real people most of whom find satisfaction in the way the system works for them. Pejovich traces the behavior of the system back to its roots in methodological individualism. In an excellent development he brings the philosophical into its relation to the economic.' Allan Meltzer, Carnegie Mellon University, US

2008, Published by Edward Elgar Publishing, ISBN 978 1 84542 873 0, 192pp, HB

 

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