Dr. Stefania Innocenti

On Institutional persistence

Year: 2018

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.

Selected publications by Stefania Innocenti

Articles (journal, professional, popular)
Innocenti, Stefania, G.L. Clark, S. McGill & J. Cuñado, 2019, `The effect of past health events on intentions to purchase insurance: Evidence from 11 countries, Journal of Economic Psychology, 74, More information
Innocenti, Stefania & Robin Cowan, 2019, `Self-efficacy beliefs and Imitation: a two armed bandit experiment, European Economic Review, 113, More information

UNU-MERIT Working Papers
Innocenti, Stefania & Robin Cowan, 2016, Mimetic behaviour and institutional persistence: A two-armed bandit experiment, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2016-028

Innocenti, Stefania, 2018, On Institutional persistence, PhD dissertation Maastricht University / United Nations University, More information