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Instituted Or Embedded? Legal, Fiscal and Economic Institutionalisation of Markets

CRIC Discussion Paper No. 82

Mark Harvey

This paper is a theoretical reflection on some major debates within economic sociology concerning the institution of markets. It takes as its starting point two parallel, long duration, studies of the co-evolution of economic organisation one in relation to legal and welfare institutions (Deakin and Wilkinson), the other in relation to fiscal constitutions (Daunton). Both make assumptions about the distinctiveness of fiscal and legal, welfare developmental processes, on the one hand, and interaction with economic development on the other. The paper demonstrates that there is a higher order interaction between the four poles of law, welfare, fiscality and economy. The second part of the paper draws on work within CRIC to argue that concepts of institutedness and embeddness (Granovetter, Swedberg, North, etc.) need to address both the distinctiveness and interaction between different institutional aspects in order to arrive more clearly at ideas of what is distinctively economic and instituted in economic institutions such as markets. It suggests a strong convergence between an ‘instituted economic process’ perspective and evolutionary theoretical frameworks.

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