chapter  3
Institutions and Economic Growth: A Historical Introduction
ByDOUGLASS C. NORTH
Pages 13

The objective of this essay is two-fold: (1) to develop a theoretical framework which focuses on the historical obstacles to economic growth; and (2) to briefly apply this framework to explore the contrasting characteristics of institutional change in early modern Britain and Spain and the downstream implications for North and Latin America. In the sections that follow, I explore (1) the issues; (2) the nature of institutions; (3) the sources of institutional change; (4) the initial historical conditions in England and Spain; (5) English development; (6) Spanish development; and finally (7) the consequences for the New World. Of necessity, the historical sections are little more than outlines, illustrating the framework developed in the first sections.