This collection of essays goes well beyond the technical exercises that have become standard in complexity modeling and brings to life in a very accessible and pragmatic way economists growing concern with contingency, institutions, history, variety, information, power and policy. This is an important book for those interested in the likely future direction of economic methodology and policy modeling. William Milberg, New School for Social Research, New York, US All too often, orthodox economics presumes economic laws to be timeless and universal, while paying scant attention to real world institutions. Wolfram Elsner and Hardy Hanappi have assembled seventeen papers by a diverse international collection of recognized scholars and rising stars that dispense with the cookie-cutter approach and get down to the important work of identifying the institutional and cultural specificities that characterize capitalism in the 21st century. Successful policies for real development depend crucially on the kinds of analyses found in this most welcome volume. Mathew Forstater, University of Missouri-Kansas City, US In response to global and technological challenges, this important book highlights the continuing diversity of national institutional reconfigurations and policy reforms from an institutional economics perspective. The distinguished contributors offer a fresh and critical appraisal of three interconnected fields of research; varieties of capitalism, the new economy and new institutional deals. They discuss comparative institutional systems, institutional state and policy reform strategies, and the further development of evolutionary-institutional economic theory. This work illustrates that capitalist market economies remain persistently diverse, in spite of similar global, technological, informational, and organisational challenges. The complex character of socio-economies thus has come to the fore and, the contributors argue, causes path-dependent, open-ended and diverse reconfigurations. Dual typologies of market-led vs. coordinated economies, therefore, seem to be too general to reflect these different patterns. Also, diverse firms forms, particularly MNEs as international cultural diffusion mechanisms, and empire type systems are explored. This book will undoubtedly become a benchmark for the analysis of comparative institutional systems. Its appeal will be to heterodox, institutional and evolutionary economists as well as practitioners interested in policy and institutional reforms.
Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing , 2008. -376 p.