Thursday, September 16, 2010
PUBLICATION: Elites and Institutional Persistence
CAPRi readers may be interested in reading this recent UNU-Wider Working Paper.
Particular sets of institutions, once they become established in a society, have a strong tendency to persist. In this paper I argue that understanding how elites form and reproduce is key to understanding the persistence of institutions over time. I illustrate this idea with a simple political economy theory of institutions and through examples from Liberia, the US, South Africa and Germany I show how elites influence institutions. To change institutions requires having an understanding of how reforms influence the preferences, capabilities and strategies of elites.