"At a time when economic and political institutions are being reformed and replaced all over the world, North's book is required reading for all social scientists and policy makers." T.N. Srinivasan, Yale University
"North here draws upon the literature concerning the formation of economic institutions...to ask significant questions about differences among economies across time and space...This is an exciting and stimulating work, and one that will leave its mark upon the work of economic historians. It will also be important for political scientists and other social scientists, to learn the message and relevance of an influential strain of non-mainstream economic thinking." Stanley Engerman, University of Rochester
"In a careful but wide-ranging analysis grounded in rational-choice theory, he stresses the ways in which institutional arrangements, once adopted, may lead quite rational actors to behave in ways that are collectively suboptimal." Paul Pierson, World Politics
An analytical framework for explaining the ways in which institutions and institutional change affect the performance of economies is developed in this analysis of economic structures.