Book: Anthropology and institutional economics
Editor: James M. Acheson
This volume is one of the rare collection of papers I found looking at Anthropology and institutional economics. Surprisingly, though the two have a large scope for collaboration, there is very little work happening between these two disciplines, to my knowledge. This volume provides a useful introduction. The book starts with an introduction about Anthropology and Institutional economics by James Acheson. This is followed by an essay on New Institutionalism by Robert Bates. The best part of the book is made up of case studies divided into three sections (1) Transactions cost, individual decisions & econoimc performance (2) Institutions and the state (3) Institutions and credit. Finally there is a section on theoretical issues concerning institutional economics. The book is an outcome of a meeting of society for economic anthropology at UC Irvine. The volume provides a strong flavour of how the two disciplines can collaborate. Among these, I especially liked, “Individual choice and institutional constraints: the new organization of health care in USA” by Melissa Rehfus and Christiana Gladwin. While most articles are informative, they left somethnig wanting in how things are theorised.