Wednesday, June 19, 2013

ISNIE - Florence

From: Florence, Italy To: Wrocław, PolandOn my way from Wrocław to Florence (via Munich) today for the annual meeting of the International Society for New Institutional Economics (ISNIE) (see here). I don't often attend ISNIE, although it's a group towards which I have natural sympathies, as it was co-founded by Doug North and Ronald Coase. But it grew very quickly and became a bit clubbish for my taste.

This will be my fourth or fifth time attending the conference, and my first as an invited plenary speaker to honor my late colleague Elinor Ostrom. I will be talking about work that Lin started with Mike McGinnis, and which Mike, Graham Epstein and I are carrying on, to improve and combine Lin's two major frameworks. Lin and Mike's initial efforts in 2009-2010 to develop PIASES (the Program in Institutional Analysis of Social-Ecological Systems), did not get very far. We have restarted and somewhat redirected the effort, and are currently working on the first set of articles elaborating the framework. I will be talking mainly about the dynamic time-flow diagram we have created, which combines and elaborates features of Lin's IAD (Institutional Analysis and Development) and SES (Social-Ecological Systems) Frameworks.

Keynote speakers for the conference are Eric Maskin and Samuel Bowles. The other speaker on my plenary panel is Marco Janssen  (from the Ostrom Workshop's sister center at Arizona State). Another plenary panel will feature Italian economists Maristella Botticini and Nicola Persico, discussing their contributions to advances in the economics of institutions.

The rest of the conference is chock-full, as always, of interesting panels and papers. Several concurrent sessions are also dedicated to Lin's memory. Another is an 80th birthday tribute to Oliver Williamson, a past ISNIE president and co-recipient of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics with Lin Ostrom. Aside from those panels, I'm particularly looking forward to others on "Endogenous Property Rights," "The Emergence and Evolution of Institutions," "Institutional Change: Causes and Consequences," "Property Rights and Development," "Public Goods and Commons," "Institutions and Ancient Economies," "Liberalism and the Social Order," and "Federalism." A complete list of parallel sessions, papers, and presenters can be viewed here.

Given the quality of the conference, I probably won't get much sightseeing done in Florence, but that's okay; I did the Uffizi a couple of years ago, when I was in town for another conference. My wife and son will take in the sights for me. In any case, I'm sure I will eat nearly as well in Florence as I have been in Wrocław. In particular, I'm looking forward to the gelato.

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