John Nye
George Mason University



(Thursday, 6th May 2004)

Title : Cliometrics and the NIE: The Rise of the New Institutional Narrative

I. Introduction: Why Are Some Nations Rich and Some Poor?

  • Economic History as the Empirical Study of Long Run Changes in Economic Development

II. From Story-Telling to the Rise of the New Economic History (also Cliometrics)

  1. The Development of National Income Accounting
  2. Importance of the Neoclassical/Solow Growth Model
  3. Rostow and the Stages of Economic Growth
  4. Mathematics, Econometrics and History: the Invention of Cliometrics
  5. From Success to Stagnation

III. North and the Rise of the New Institutional Economics

  • The shift from macro modeling to considering the role of political economy, law, and organization

IV. Core of the NIE Methodology

  • The problem of credible commitment
  • The conflict between production and predation

V. Methodological Pluralism

  • Case studies, game theory, micro analysis
  • The new institutional narrative as analytical synthesis

VI. Where Do We Go From Here?

Bibliographical references :

Douglass North and John V. C. Nye, Cliometrics, the New Institutional Economics, and the Future of Economic History. Economic History Association, 62nd Annual Meeting, "Private versus Public Institutions", October 11 - 13, 2002.

Douglass C. North, "Sources of Productivity Change in Ocean Shipping, 1600-1850," Journal of Political Economy 76 (Sept/Oct. 1968), pp. 953-70.

Greif, A. (1997) "Cliometrics after 40 Years", American Economic Review, 87 (2), p 400-403.