Universität des Saarlandes
Department of Economics P.O. Box 151150 66041 Saarbrücken (Germany)
International Seminars on the New Institutional Economics
The basic objective of the first symposium on the New Institutional Economics was to clarify the nature of this emerging field of study and to consider its likely course of development in the future. Conference papers dealt with the fundamentals of the new approach: its historical evolution, property-rights analysis, transaction-cost economics, issues of constitutional choice, etc.
A. Alchian × Ronald H. Coase × Eirik G. Furubotn × Terence
W. Hutchison × Harvey Leibenstein × Wernhard Möschel ×
Douglass C. North × Charles K. Rowley × Dieter Schmidtchen
× Kenneth E. Scott × Carl-Christian von Weizsäcker ×
Steven N. Wiggins × Oliver E. Williamson.
The second symposium in the series followed the policies established in the first conference and, thus, had as its main purpose the discussion and critical assessment of current contributions to the literature of modern institutionalism. Papers presented at the conference illustrated how modern institutional analysis could be applied to such disparate questions as: intellectual property rights, long cycles of economic activity, the legislative process, the behavior of the firm, bankruptcy law, and problems of the nursing home industry.
Barzel × Peter Behrens × Michael A. Crew × Harry E. Frech
III × Herbert Hax × Paul R. Kleindorfer × Manfred Neumann
× A. Allan Schmid × Wolfgang Seyfert × Robert E. Summers
× Oliver E. Williamson.
Fundamentally, this conference was motivated by a desire to learn more about how to utilize the methods of contemporary institutional analysis in considering public policy issues. The following public choice issues of industrial policy were considered: the incentive to innovate, rent seeking behavior, public choice aspects, outcomes of industrial policies (steel industry) pursued in the U.S., Germany and Japan.
Contributions by: Michael A. Crew × Terence W. Hutchison × Erich Kaufer × Heinz König × Kazutoshi Koshiro Richard McKenzie × Douglass C. North × Philip K. Porter × Timothy Roth × Charles K. Rowley × Hans K. Schneider × Gerald Scully × Daniel Slottje × Gordon Tullock × Klaus F. Zimmermann.
4th Symposium on the New Institutional Economics (JITE 143, No.1, 1987)
Recognizing the limitations of the orthodox, neoclassical approach, writers in the new tradition have sought to develop a more comprehensive and penetrating explanation of the nature of productive organizations. The issue contains brief assessments of Armen Alchian's work and papers on a variety of problems of the corporation such as the assignment of risks, the role of transaction costs, information and decision making, dividends and capital structure, private and public ownership, the firm and the evolution of market systems, and general reflections on the theory of the firm.
A. Alchian × Peter Bernholz × Peter R. Brucato × David
G. Davies × Louis DeAlessi × Harold Demsetz × Arthur
DeVany × Raymond P.H. Fishe × James D. Hess × Christian
Kirchner × Charles R. Knoeber × Steven N. Wiggins × Ulrich
Witt × Susan Woodward.
The issue deals with aspects of relational or incomplete long-term contracts. Topics covered include, i.a., contract remedies, the impossibility defense, opportunism and transaction costs, contests and tournaments in organizations, the sociology of relational contracts, applications of the concept of relational contracts in economic analyses of franchising, international investments, and the use of money.
P. Goldberg × Siegwart Lindenberg × Ian R. MacNeil ×
Scott E. Masten × Peter C. Müller-Graff × Rudolf Richter
× Sherwin Rosen × Erich Schanze.
The methods used in the new institutional economics can be applied fruitfully to problems in economics history. This fact was demonstrated effectively by conference papers that undertook analysis of a wide range of historical topics: contracting for property rights in the U.S., economic development, institutional persistence and change, corruption, labor relations in the American South before 1950, agriculture in old-regime France, history of banking institutions in Germany, U.K. and the U.S., free-riding in organizations.
J. Alston × Brian R. Binger × Joseph P. Ferrie × Elizabeth
Hoffman × Philip T. Hoffman × Gary D. Libecap × Johan
Myhrman × Douglass C. North × Barbara Sands × Hansjörg
Siegenthaler × Richard H. Tilly × John J. Wallis.
The objective of this conference was to bring representatives of the literary and mathematical approaches to institutional economics together in order to facilitate an exchange of ideas on how research in the field is best carried out. Topics covered by the first group include the role of efficiency in property rights and transaction cost analysis, applications to debt and equity financing and cooperative banking, the role of risk aversion in modelling. Representatives of the second group dealt with a game-theoretic analysis of the calculus of consent, principal-agent models of trade and monitoring among agents, backward integration.
Contributions by: Louis DeAlessi × Holger Bonus × Eirik G. Furubotn × Victor P. Goldberg × Herbert Hax × Bengt Holmström × Leonid Hurwicz × Siegwart Lindenberg × Paul Milgrom × Michael H. Riordan × Georg Schmidt × Urs Schweizer × Hal Varian × Oliver E. Williamson.
Since the early seventies a revolution of sorts has been underway in antitrust analysis, and traditional policy views have been strongly challenged. New institutionalist ideas lie at the heart of discussion and influence current thinking on antitrust measures. This issue starts with an assessment of the goals of antitrust and then deals, i.a., with the influence of antitrust policy on employment, the division of labor, on innovation, the commercialization of new technology, resale price maintenance, competitive effects of shareholding by banks, foreclosure effects of vertical mergers.
A. Alchian × Patrick Bolton × William Breit × Richard
J. Gilbert × Thomas M. Jorde × Henry G. Manne × Wernhard
Möschel × Doris Neuberger × Manfred Neumann × William
F. Shugart III × Michael D. Whinston × David J. Teece ×
Robert D. Tollison × Carl-Christian von Weizsäcker.
The ninth conference brought scholars interested in the new institutional economics together so that an assessment could be made of what comparative institutional analysis is able to contribute to our understanding of economic organizations and their transformation. Papers presented dealt with such matters as corruption and ownership, institutional transformation, privatization in Eastern Europe, institutions and rational choice, measuring Soviet economic growth, investment decisions in labor-managed firms, transition of the economic policy framework, East-West joint ventures, the Israeli Kibbutz.
Brzeski × Peter Galasi × Amir Helman × Maciej Iwanek
× Christian Kirchner × Siegwart Lindenberg × John H.
Moore × Svetozar Pejovich × Karl-Ernst Schenk × Joachim
Zentes × Eirik G. Furubotn.
The idea of the 10th conference was to offer an overview on developments in the field of modern institutional economics during the years since the first conference in 1982 and to deal with its expanding frontiers into the fields of law, political organization and sociology. The aim was to take stock of the methodology of the NIE and to bring representatives of various fields of its application together so that a fuller exchange of ideas can occur.
C. North ×Oliver E. Williamson × Richard A. Posner ×
Ronald H. Coase × Erich Schanze × Urs Schweizer × Ekkehart
Schlicht × James Coleman × Hartmut Esser × Barry Weingast
× Thomas W. Gilligan × Bruno S. Frey.
The conference was concerned with the general topic of contractual behavior as undertaken by decision makers operating subject to bounded rationality. General hypotheses concerning behavior under bounded rationality from the viewpoint of psychology, sociology of law, game theory and anthropology, as well as applications of these basic theoretical themes were considered.
Contributions by: Daniel Kahneman × Ken Binmore × Robert Boyd × Robert C. Ellickson × Siegwart Lindenberg × Hubert Rottleuthner × Erich Schanze × James M. Buchanan × Christoph Engel × Terry Moe × Arnold Picot & Birgitta Wolff × Beth V. Yarbrough × Georg Ress × Kenneth E. Scott × Oliver E. Williamson.
The conference dealt with the organization of markets and its influence on the behavior of buyers and sellers. Its cue was the remark by Coase that "although economists claim to study the working of the market, in modern economic theory the market itself has an even more shadowy role than the firm."
Wolfgang Nörr × Alan Schwartz × Harrison C. White ×
Erich Schanze × Asher Wolinsky × Konrad Stahl × John
Tilton × Lutz Müller-Hagedorn × Dennis W. Carlton ×
Paul Joskow × Christian Kirchner.
Organized by Erich Schanze
The principle theme was how changes in knowledge, technology, and transaction costs effect transformations in the institutional structure of production. An important subsidiary theme was the role of external and internal restraints, through law, markets, custom and force, either alone or in combination, in coordinating complex economic systems.
Kaufer × Lajos Vékás × Arnold Picot & Tanja
Ripperger & Birgitta Wolff × Geoffrey P. Miller × Edward
L. Rubin × Claude Menard × Walter W. Powell × Christian
Kirchner × Christine Windbichler × Sherwin Rosen × Alan
Organized by Ekkehart Schlicht and Timur Kuran
The topic of this conference epitomizes the interplay of culture and economics. Recent developments in institutional economics increasingly emphasize the importance of the cultural underpinnings of market processes by stressing the importance of custom, standards of behavior, atmosphere, and the productive contribution of social relations ("social capital").
Ensminger × Timur Kuran × Franz-Xaver Kaufmann × Laurence
R. Iannaccone × Dieter Schmidtchen & Achim Mayer × Benjamin
Beit-Hallahmi × Eilert Herms × Hans Albert × Howard Margolis
× Russel Hardin.
15th Symposium on the New Institutional
Economics (JITE 154 No.1, 1998)
Organized by Jürgen Eichberger
The past two decades have seen the emergence of financial markets for new assets, like options, futures and many other derivatives, and of new financial institutions like investment and mutual funds. In combination with the internationalization and deregulation of the banking and finance sectors in many countries, these developments are beginning to shape a new system of financial institutions. This conference gathers contributions of economic historians, of economists and of law scholars which shed light on these institutional changes. The future role of banks and financial markets is the central theme of these papers.
Contributions by: Richard H. Tilly × Charles Calomiris × Geoffrey Miller × Kenneth E. Scott × Günter Franke × Johannes Köndgen × Colin Mayer × Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden × Sudipto Bhattacharya × Martin Hellwig × Thomas Saving.
Organized by Herbert Hax
Control of capital owners over firm managers has been recognized to be one of the central problems for the functioning of capital markets and for corporate finance. While capital structure is irrelevant under perfect market conditions, financial contracting is of strategic importance when information asymmetry and opportunistic behavior are taken into account. Conference papers deal with the institutional foundations of corporate control and the design of control mechanisms, including aspects of accounting and auditing.
E. Scott × Monika Schnitzer × Philippe Aghion, Patrick Bolton
and Steven Fries × Michael Adams × Theodor Baums × Peter
Nippel × Sunil Dutta and Stefan Reichelstein × Ralf Ewert ×
Robert E. Verrecchia × Jonathan M. Karpoff.
Organized by Christian Kirchner and Rudolf Richter
There was considerable agreement that "big-bang" transformations are undesirable. Economists, also New Institutional Economists, pay too little attention to the role of political forces in transformation processes. Privatization is not necessarily a cure-all. In some cases collective action on local levels may be preferable. Particular interest found the Chinese path of transition which is a bottom-up evolution, as the Industrial Revolution in England (or in Germany), not a top-down transformation as in Eastern Europe. The German economic and political development since the early 19th century provides a (painful) example.
Contributions by: Douglass C. North × Kenneth J. Arrow × Erich Schanze × Christian Henning and Xiaobo Lu × Victor Nee × Alexander Blankenagel × Arsène Verny × Yingyi Qian × Rainer Schröder × Pranab Bardhan × Mathias Dewatripont and Gérard Roland × Liqun Liu, Andrew J. Rettenmaier and Thomas R. Saving.