This chapter offers a look at transformation processes from the perspective of the new institutional economics (NIE). It briefly describes the main pillars of this research area, including its assumptions, the definition of institutions, and their interplay. It is shown that the NIE can contribute to explaining the outcome of transformation processes by pointing at the different institutions relied upon during transition. In the section surveying the large literature on institutions and transition, special focus is laid on the role of constitutions for political transformation, property rights for economic transformation, and internal or informal institutions as institutions largely exempt from deliberate transformation which can, hence, constitute an important constraint in transformation processes. The chapter concludes by pointing out some research gaps.
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