Post by Henry Smith
I just finished up as President of the Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics (SIOE), which had its annual meeting this year at Sciences Po in Paris (I hosted the conference last year at Harvard when I was President-Elect). As is the custom, I gave a very short address at the conference dinner. My topic was well within the domain of private law: I suggested that the notion of property used in institutional and organizational economics was ironically thin, that institutional analysis could be turned back on property itself, and that this would require continued methodological openness. Property problems often involve too many actors and too much complexity for purely analytical methods and at the same time not enough actors or too much feedback for statistical techniques to work either. What we need is a dose of “systems theory.” More can be found here.