How cooperation evolves: History, expectations, and leadership
Daron Acemoglu, Matthew O. Jackson 13 June 2011
Economists are increasingly recognising the importance of social norms in determining economic outcomes. While some argue that these norms are set in stone, this column introduces a new framework exploring how these norms emerge, how they can change, and how leadership by individuals can play a pivotal role.
Social norms, which create self-reinforcing expectations and patterns of behaviour, are the foundation of social life. In many economic, political, and social situations where coordination is important, different social norms, with sharply varying consequences, may emerge and persist. Different norms regarding how much others should be trusted constitute one important example.
Frontiers of economic research Politics and economics
leadership, social norms
Why it matters who leads research universities
Amanda Goodall 02 January 2010
The best US universities outperform their European counterparts. This column says part of the gap is due to how universities choose leaders. Outstanding scholars are more likely to be selected as presidents in the top US universities, a move that is associated with improved research performance.
It is well known that the top European research universities underperform compared to their American counterparts. The evidence is summarised with policy recommendations by van der Ploeg and Veugelers (2008a,b). The authors raise the need for improved governance, in particular that governments should give universities greater autonomy to manage their own affairs. Leadership is an important part of governance, and again Europe lags.
Universities, research, leadership