By Boris Pleskovic, Michael Bruno
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Extra info for Annual World Bank Conference on Development Economics 1996
In another article on legal systems Avner Greif notes that neoclassical economists and social scientists in other disciplines make conflicting claims about the importance of formal legal systems to various forms of exchange. For neoclassical economists these systems are essential to anonymous exchange and economic growth. For economic sociologists, however, informal contract enforcement based on personal trust and reputation is more common and more effective in sustaining exchange. According to Greif, neither view is entirely accurate.
The transformation of these economies is being accompanied by the shedding of these social responsibilities by corporations facing new competitive pressures. The government is the only backstop. Special Role of Government in Developing Economies Government needs to function in the six capacities I have delineated in all types of economies. 4 Assessing the appropriate role of government requires recognition of both the need for and the limitations of government action. Successful governments have helped create markets (such as bond and stock markets and long-term credit institutions).
Recent attempts at building green GDP accounts recognize these points. They highlight the enormous challenges faced by countries that have not prevented environmental degradation: it will take generations to undo Page 15 the environmental damage that has been wrought in many developing and transition economies. 2 The sixth role of government is in creating and maintaining a social safety net, including access to basic health services. In some cases these activities can be justified in utilitarian terms: they increase the productivity of the labor force and foster political stability by reducing opposition to change.
Annual World Bank Conference on Development Economics 1996 by Boris Pleskovic, Michael Bruno