State and economics in institutionalism of Douglass North

Vol. 23 No. 2 (2003)

Apr-Jun / 2003
Published April 1, 2003
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))

How to Cite

Fiani, Ronaldo. 2003. “State and Economics in Institutionalism of Douglass North”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 23 (2):324-39.

State and economics in institutionalism of Douglass North

Ronaldo Fiani
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 23 No. 2 (2003), Apr-Jun / 2003, Pages 324-339


Douglass North’s ideas, notwithstanding his 1993’s Nobel award are still barely known among Brazilian economists. This unawareness is deplorable not only because the relevance of his ideas to current development theory but also for his new (and rather heterodox) contribution to the analysis of the modern State’s economic role. This paper presents a synthesis of North’s discussion concerning the institutional role of the State in the economic system. It is shown that in North’s thought that role comprehends not only the enforcement of property rights but more importantly the definition and attribution of those rights.

JEL Classification: B15; O43; P48.

Keywords: Douglass North State institutionalism