Narratives and understanding of economic institutions

TERRA ECONOMICUS, , Vol. 18 (no. 2),

The increasing popularity of narrative analysis can be partly explained by ubiquity and accessibility of narratives for the economists. Important role of narratives in identifying behavioral patterns and understanding socio-economic phenomena is another feature of the narrative research. The narratives can provide valuable information for a more detailed overview of the economic development and prospective institutional change. Within the framework of the narrative economics narrative research is still not commonly associated with the institutional research. This article treats narratives as an important source of data and knowledge about relevant institutions. Narrative analysis provides a new, deeper understanding of institutions and their role in shaping social and economic interactions. Stories do not simply uncover evidence relying on the actors’ personal experiences and subjective perceptions. It can be said that the stories “wrap up” the ideas (morality) related to structuring repeated social interactions. Therefore, the narrative structure, as well as the essential elements of meaning, actually matter for explaining economic phenomena. Within the framework of this research, the narrative structure is suggested as including three elements: ideas (morality), context (historical, cultural, and social), and actor. Being closely tied to institutions, narratives can be treated as the scenarios that are consistent with outstanding events and thorough explanation of socio-economic phenomena. This research uses the narrative approach to analyze the in-depth interviews and to identify and explain the institutional traps in the field of education and science.
Citation: Volchik, V. V. (2020). Narratives and understanding of economic institutions. Terra Economicus, 18(2), 49–69. DOI: 10.18522/2073-6606-2020-18-2-49-69
Acknowledgment: This publication has been prepared in the framework of the project funded by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project № 18-01000581) “Institutional traps of optimization of the sphere of education and science”.

Keywords: institutional economics; narrative economics; behavioral patterns; institutional traps; education and science

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Publisher: Southern Federal University
Founder: Southern Federal University
ISSN: 2073-6606