2019 (16), №2

Post-Institutional Theory of Blockchain



For citation: 

Frolov, D. P. (2019). Post-Institutional Theory of Blockchain. Zhurnal Economicheskoj Teorii [Russian Journal of Economic Theory], 16(2), 262-278


The article demonstrates the possibilities of post-institutionalism in the context of blockchain — a new generation of institutional methodologies and theories, alternative to the new institutional economics. Based on the theory of transaction value, it has been proved that radical reduction of transaction costs by blockchain technologies will not lead to the elimination of intermediaries, but will redirect them to the improvement of transactions quality and the expansion of the offer of additional (including hyperrelevant) transaction services. Using the theory of institutional assemblages, it is argued that it is impossible to form a homogeneous system of blockchain institutions based solely on the principles of decentralization, transparency, and openness. The institutional system of blockchain will be organically hybrid, combining elements of opposing institutional logics: regulatory and algorithmic law, Ricardian and smart contracts, private and public systems, uncontrollability and arbitration. Thus, the conclusions of the neoinstitutional theory of blockchain (Davidson et al., 2018) are refuted from a post-institutional standpoint.

Daniil Petrovich Frolov — Doctor of Economics, Professor at the Department of World Economy and Economic Theory, Volgograd State Technical University; Researcher for the Project of the Russian Science Foundation No. 18–78– 10075, Volgograd State University (Volgograd, Russian Federation; e-mail: ecodev@mail.ru).