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Institutional analysis and the gift: an introduction to the symposium

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 May 2020

Stefan Kesting
Department of Economics, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
Ioana Negru*
Management, Marketing and Business Administration, Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Sibiu, Romania
Paolo Silvestri
Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Turin, Torino, Italy
*Corresponding author. Email:


How can gift and gift-giving studies be relevant to the study of institutions and vice versa? This is the question we broadly address in the introduction to this symposium while drawing on the contributing articles and sketching out a possible future research in a perspective of integration between these two fields of study. Is the gift an institution? What types of methodological approaches would be most suitable in view of such integration? We define the gift as transfers underpinned by institutions, including customs and norms. We contend that the institutional thought can employ empirical and qualitative research methods used by anthropology and that there are important and fruitful lines of tension between gift-giving and institutions – from the relationship between freedom and obligation to the role of third sector between state and market – worthy of further research in the future.

Symposium on Institutional Analysis and the Gift
Copyright © Millennium Economics Ltd 2020

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