Since the institutions’ economy started to flourish in the years 1960-1970, this particular approach has been very successful. Following this approach, institutions — public institutions, companies, etc. — were put at the heart of the analysis in order to look again at the markets and pre-capitalist institutions in Europe and elsewhere over the long term. However, if all the institutions and economic forms are justified, then how can they explain their transformations, or even disappearances, and the formation of new institutions without falling into an ex post justification? How can the effectiveness of the institutions be measured? How can we prove that institutional change has been the result of this higher efficiency? It was on the basis of this question that we decided to ask authors working in different periods and regions of the world to clarify the role of institutions and markets in their respective fields: corvée and work in France in the 18th century; credit to Japan in the 19th and 20th century; services and communications in the USSR; institutions in post-colonial Africa. Since it brought currency in the 1960s and 1970s, the economics of institutions has been very successful. This approach placed institutions — public institutions and companies — at the heart of analysis in order to afford a new perspective on pre-capitalist markets and institutions in Europe and elsewhere, over the long term. However, if there is a justification for all institutions and economic forms, then how can we explain their transformation, if not disappearance, and the formation of new institutions without functioning into justification after the fact? How can the efficiency of institutions be measured? How can institutional change be achieved to have resulted from that increased efficiency? Projected by questions such as these, we authorised working on different periods and regions of the world to clarify the role of institutions and markets in their respective fields: the corvée, or compulsory labour, in eighteenth-century France; credit in Japan in the nineteenth and Twentieth centuries; services and communications in the USSR; and institutions in post-colonial Africa.