Institutions and Economic Reforms

Wendy Carlin


Recent studies in economic development seek to establish that institutional quality is an important determinant of long-run living standards. Moreover, it appears that property rights institutions are causal for development whereas contracting institutions affect the nature of financial intermediation in the economy. I use these results to explore two questions. If property rights institutions matter for economic growth, can they help explain large-scale reform surprises? The reforms in Western Germany in 1948 are viewed as 'miraculous' whereas those in the early 1990s in the former Soviet transition economies are viewed as disappointing. I argue that the former had a limited task because they only had to restore existing property rights institutions whereas the latter had to create new ones and find new owners for assets. The second question is whether the persistence of variety in contracting institutions across countries that have developed successfully has implications for the design of financial and corporate governance reforms.


economic reforms, transition, property rights, contracting institutions, Currency Reform

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E-ISSN 2038-1379 -  2009-2023 University of Perugia