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Sustainability and Welfare Policy in European Market Economies

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Edited By Jürgen Plöhn and George Chobanov

The articles in this volume are selected from the contributions to two international conferences. Authors and teams tackle general economic approaches and developments with respect to new concepts for the production possibility frontier, the connection of development and exports diversification and improvements to the business process. Other contributors address economic sustainability with respect to an institutional path to sustainable growth, available financial instruments, behavioral models of economic expectations, solutions for waste treatment as well as to technological aspects related to security, privacy and IT governance. Finally, a third group of authors discusses health policy in the EU and postsecondary education in Bulgaria as aspects of public welfare.

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The Institutional Path to Sustainable Growth (Teodor Sedlarski)

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Teodor Sedlarski

(Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Bulgaria)

The Institutional Path to Sustainable Growth

Abstract: Linking two fields of academic discussions, the paper discusses institutional aspects of sustainable economic development. Using analytical approaches of the New Institutional Economics, it tries to assess economic history by analysing crucial factors like property rights and coercion-constraining as well as contract-enforcement institutions. These factors are used to explain the establishment of open access societies, stable or insecure developments.

1. A consolidating research field: new economic history of markets and growth

In the last three decades there has been a growth of literature on the area of the so called new economic history that offers institutional explanation to the economic success or failure of nations. New economic history uses the methodological apparatus of new institutional economics (cf. Furubotn, Richter 2005; 2010) to study historical developments with the help of theoretical assumptions like optimizing individuals, bounded rationality (Simon 1957), transaction costs, path dependence and some implications of game theory (cf. Camerer 2003; McMillan 2002). The main question that new economic history research tries to find an answer to is what the institutional prerequisites of sustained economic growth are which can be eventually adopted by developing societies with the aim to initialize an economic catch-up process (cf. Sedlarski 2012a; 2012b). Usually the formation and features of the institutional set that has emerged in Western societies and has led to their dominant economic position in the world over...

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