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Clearly written summary, which is extremely valuable. You connect transaction cost economics to the issue of institutions well here.

For years I've been saying we need a popular book, with the reach of Malcolm Gladwell, that explains New Institutional Economics. Many "ideological" debates became much less ideological when one understands transaction costs and then observes different institutional frameworks as various imperfect approaches to the issue of transaction costs. When one adds the institutional diversity of the Ostroms, public choice theory, and the literature on political ignorance (see Mark Pennington's "Robust Political Economy" as a nice integration of public choice and political ignorance issues), then one has a powerful toolkit for discussing institutions. Surprisingly few economists and few political scientists have adequate mastery of these tools.

But starting with property rights and transaction costs as you do here is a graceful introduction to the set of tools that will allow for more insightful and productive discussions of institutional choices and challenges.

I'd love to see you write such a book someday.

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