In recent years, the field of comparative economics refocused on the comparison of capitalist economies. The theme of the new research is that institutions exert a profound influence on economic development. We argue that, to understand capitalist institutions, one needs to understand the basic tradeoff between the costs of disorder and those of dictatorship. We apply this logic to study the structure of efficient institutions, the consequences of colonial transplantation, and the politics of institutional choice. Journal of Comparative Economics 31 (4) (2003) 595–619. World Bank, Washington, DC 20433, USA; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA; Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755, USA; Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.
Copyright 2003 Association for Comparative Economic Studies. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Reprinted in Chinese in Comparative Studies, Citic, 2003.