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The Role of Elites in Economic Development$
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the late Alice H. Amsden, Alisa DiCaprio, and James A. Robinson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199659036

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659036.001.0001

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Elites and Institutional Persistence

Elites and Institutional Persistence

Chapter:
(p.29) 3 Elites and Institutional Persistence
Source:
The Role of Elites in Economic Development
Author(s):

James A. Robinson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659036.003.0003

Particular sets of institutions, once they become established in a society, have a strong tendency to persist. This chapter argues that understanding how elites form and reproduce is key to understanding the persistence of institutions over time. The chapter illustrates this idea with a simple political economy theory of institutions, and through examples from Liberia, the US, South Africa, and Germany the chapter shows how elites influence institutions. To change institutions requires having an understanding of how reforms influence the preferences, capabilities, and strategies of elites.

Keywords:   elites, political economy, persistence of institutions, Liberia, US, South Africa, Germany

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