In contrast to traditional welfare economics, new institutional economics has made a major contribution to analyzing institutions as both preconditions and elements of…
In contrast to traditional welfare economics, new institutional economics has made a major contribution to analyzing institutions as both preconditions and elements of economic activities. By including institutions’ incentives and restrictions on human beings, it has made a significant first step toward the further development of economic science. The usual starting point, however, is a world without uncertainty where so‐called “anomalies” from “rational” behavior cannot occur; but in this world, institutions are not necessary either. Related research demonstrates the relevance of factors like intrinsic motivation, internalization of norms, habit formation, etc., but these characteristics are typically treated in a half‐hearted way as mere anomalies. Instead, it is time to take the full second step and to include the effects of institutions on economic actors as well as to take the third step, namely, to consider the fact that economic agents form institutions. We exemplify these further steps and look on the interaction between institutions and economic actors which leads to a general institutional economics.
This chapter presents some basic concepts on time studies and discusses what a temporal approach can offer for higher education research. Being an invariable constituent of life, time structures and organizes activities and processes in higher education, covering all of its levels and functions. Furthermore, the current policy agenda that emphasizes the need for higher education to accelerate innovation flows, and to speed up the production of new knowledge and workers, accentuates the importance of the temporal perspective. The chapter examines the dominant, taken-for-granted conception of time – clock time – which involves a linear, quantitative, cumulative, homogenized, abstract and decontextualized conception of time. The core features of clock time are described by the four Cs put forward by Barbara Adam: creation, commodification, colonization and control of time. It is argued that, in the current digital, post-modern era, social acceleration reshapes and transforms the nature of clock time, which results in compression of time, shrinking future and extended present, all manifest in the overall speeding-up of life. In addition, a temporal lens for analysing higher education is presented, with examples from empirical studies on time and temporalities in academic work and identity building.