Economic historian and Nobel laureate Douglass C. North (1920–2015) helped transform his profession by arguing that we should look at the role played by formal and informal laws and norms if we wish to understand why some nations are rich and others poor. His later interest in psychology, philosophy, and cognitive science foreshadowed the rise of behavioral economics and the incorporation of cultural factors into mainstream economic analysis.

EconomistsEconomyPhilosophy and Religion
Other Independent Review articles by John V. C. Nye
Summer 2014 Ronald Coase: An Appreciation
Summer 2008 From the Corn Laws to Free Trade: Interests, Ideas, and Institutions in Historical Perspective
Spring 1997 Democracy and International Trade: Britain, France, and the United States, 1860–1990