Nov 25, 2014

Forthcoming Seminars: Why NIE Fails: Institutional Persistence and Development Dilemmas in Middle-income Countries

Why NIE Fails:
Institutional Persistence and Development Dilemmas
in Middle-income Countries

Dr Veerayooth Kanchoochat

Assistant Professor of Political Economy
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS, Tokyo)

Date: 1 December 2014 (Monday)
Time: 4 pm – 5:30 pm
Venue: Y5-203, AC1, City University of Hong Kong

The role of institutions has moved to centre stage in the international development community since the mid-1990s. However, the theoretical framework for thinking about institutions and prescribing policies for developing countries has been dominated by only one institutionalist school of thought, the new institutional economics (NIE). From arguing that property rights are the fundamental cause of long-term growth, recent studies, led by Douglass North and Daron Acemoglu, delve deeper into the violence and social conflicts behind institutional evolution and the economic consequences. Notwithstanding its contributions, in analytical terms, the NIE fails to consider ideas as an integral part of coalition-building that underpins the change and persistence of institutions. Moreover, the NIE still subscribes to the flawed neoclassical explanations for economic growth, which are unable to account for the latecomer economies, not least the East Asian development experience. This paper provides a critique of the NIE literature and offers an alternative framework that incorporates ideas into an institutional analysis and East Asia into an empirical benchmark. Thailand’s institutional struggle and its developmental trajectory will be used as a main case study in comparison with East and Southeast Asian countries.

Short Bio
Veerayooth Kanchoochat is Assistant Professor of Political Economy at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS, Tokyo). He holds an MPhil and a PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK. His past research and teaching experience is affiliated with Chulalongkorn’s Political Economy Centre, Cambridge’s Centre of Development Studies, the Brooks World Poverty Institute (Manchester), and the Overseas Development Institute (London). This presentation will be part of his forthcoming book manuscript, which addresses Thailand’s growth politics and democratic dilemmas.

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