Institutions are the rules of the game that help to shape the long-term historical development of societies. They mediate human interaction and can be more or less formal (or tangible) in nature ranging from systems of government to common modes of behaviour. Most formal institutions can be distinguished as economic, social, political or cultural in nature although such distinctions are more difficult to make for informal institutions. What is certain is the pervasive impact of all types of institutions on a country’s multifaceted development. Thus, economic performance may be shaped as much by a nation’s legal system as by its trade policy.