This essay argues that economic systems should be defined in terms of clusters of complementary institutions. To show how such an approach can be carried out, I use a cluster analysis technique and data on forty different economic institutions in OECD nations to isolate four quite different economic systems. After specifying the most important institutional clusters in each system, I then examine what impact these economic systems have on various indicators of economic performance. Finally, I show how such an approach allows particular evolutionary patterns of the systems to be analyzed.
economic system economic institutions OECD nations economic performance