| Dr. Stefania Innocenti
On Institutional persistence
Robin Cowan & Eleonora Nillesen
A consensus has been reached on the fact that efficient socio-economic institutions matter for economic development. Nonetheless, inefficient institutions have a strong tendency to persist. This thesis aims to clarify the role of bounded rationality, learning, and self-views as possible drivers of, or impediments to, institutional change. There are two central questions: ‘Do agents' cognitive structures affect whether or not institutional change occurs and how it unfolds?’ and ‘Can individuals' (in)abilities to enact change be responsible for institutional change (or the absence thereof)?’. The thesis investigates the potential of self-efficacy perceptions as an explanation of institutional inertia on a micro, meso and macro level. It is found that self-efficacy is central to a coherent, multi-level view of how institutional change operates.