Institutional and Organizational Analysis

Concepts and Applications

Eric Alston, Lee J. Alston, Bernardo Mueller, Tomas Nonnenmacher
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What explains the great variability in economic growth and political development across countries? Institutional and organizational analysis has developed since the 1970s into a powerful toolkit, which argues that institutions and norms rather than geography, culture, or technology are the primary causes of sustainable development. Institutions are rules that recognized authorities create and enforce. Norms are rules created by long-standing patterns of behavior, shared by people in a society or organization. They combine to play a role in all organizations, including governments, firms, churches, universities, gangs, and even families. This introduction to the concepts and applications of institutional and organizational analysis uses economic history, economics, law, and political science to inform its theoretical framework. Institutional and organizational analysis becomes the basis to show why the economic and political performance of countries worldwide have not converged, and reveals the lessons to be learned from it for business, law, and public policy.


Alston, E., Alston, L., Mueller, B., & Nonnenmacher, T. (2018). Institutional and Organizational Analysis: Concepts and Applications (New Approaches to Economic and Social History). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781316091340