Meric Gertler: Rules of the Game, The Place of Institutions
Rules of the game: the place of institutions in regional economic change, Regional Studies. Institutions exert a pervasive influence on the evolution and character of regional economies. Yet, this role is poorly understood within recent debates on neoliberalism, varieties of capitalism, and other approaches to the study of economic change. A reconstituted institutional economic geography must accommodate individual agency, institutional evolution, interscalar relations, and comparative methodologies. Examining recent work on universities in local economies, as well as on creativity-based strategies and social inclusion/polarization, it is shown how locally distinctive institutional architectures shape evolutionary trajectories, leading to differentiated social and economic outcomes. The paper then enunciates some important principles of methodology and theory-building in institutional analysis.