The failures of early "market reforms" in many post-communist transformation countries has refocused attention on the relevance of the institutional framework of market economies, an aspect grossly neglected in orthodox economic theory and often overlooked by Western economists advising transformation governments. This book examines the institutional dimension of markets and the rules and institutions that condition the operation of the market economies. Standard economics studies markets of arenas of interacting demand and supply forces. It presupposes that such interplay of economic forces takes place within a framework of rules 2 oldmediautions. Yet, the issue of how these framing rules and institutions condition the operation of markets is rarely explicitly explored. By expressly looking at markets as social institutions, the articles collected in this volume seek to fill this void. Their analytical focus is on the constitution of markets in the sense of the "rules of the game" within which the evolutionary process of market competition unfolds.
A central theme is the systematic interplay between the nature of the consituting rules of markets and the character of the economic process emerging within these rules. Particular attention is paid to the relation between the market and the state, specifically the role of governments in shaping and maintaining the economic constitution of their societies. Researchers, professionals and students will greatly enhance their understanding of markets as a social institution by reading this book.