Project: Institutions and economic development
Database "Institutional profiles"
Economic institutions such as sound property rights, non-predatory
governments, supporting industrial relations and efficient financial
intermediaries are increasingly recognised as key to economic
development. Just what the relevant institutions are and how they
interact with each other is still a matter of debate. In this regard,
Jacques Ould-Aoudia, Pierre Berthelier (both French Ministry of
Finance and Economic Affairs) and Alain Desdoigts (Dijon) have
been very active in developing and diffusing a
new database of
institutional indicators.

Since the publication of this database, I have been actively
participating in the Scientific Committee that is meant to extend the
range of indicators and to update the existing ones. For 2006, an
updated version of the questionnaire is currently being prepared
that should give rise to a second set of institutional indicators.

Varieties of capitalism

Recent institutional theories of development have often been
criticised for their lack of political support. In particular, the
complementary nature of some of the reforms necessary to bring
developing economies on a higher growth path is often sought to
constitute a major hurdle for economic development.

The genesis and resolution of social conflicts has therefore
become a key issue in my work in this area. On the one hand, not
all possible social conflicts will eventually emerge, on the other
hand, the resolution of those conflicts that do emerge depend on
partly on exogenous political and economic factors. I have tried to
integrate these ideas in a
model on the emergence and
breakdown of financial market developments throughout history,
where factors such as social structure and the repetitive nature of
group conflicts play a major role in explaining the growth of
financial markets.

I am currently working on a book project where I am going to detail
the conflictual basis of institutional change more thoroughly, based
on mimetic actors facing (Knightian) fundamental uncertainty.