Do firms plan?
AbstractThe late F. A. Hayek is remembered for the argument that the decentralized price system has enormous advantages over planned systems in the critical areas of information transmission and the use of knowledge. In many minds, the recent fall of the Soviet-style economies in Eastern Europe has decisively made that case. But not all are persuaded. The model of central planning that originally impressed Lenin—the modern business corporation—remains in many minds a formidable piece of empirical evidence in favor of the possibility and desirability of centralized administrative control. This paper argues that Hayek's theory of spontaneous order can in fact include the case of such apparently purposive and extramarket forms as the business firm. It picks up a number of suggestions in Hayek's evolutionary theory of social institutions and uses them to draw a picture of the firm that is somewhat different from what one finds on the easel of neoclassical transaction-cost analysis. In the Hayekian picture, firms and markets are both systems of rules of conduct. And both are systems for economizing on knowledge in the face of economic change, albeit quite different kinds of knowledge and change. In the end, the firm is not a model for political planning for one very simple reason: the firm does not plan. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Springer in its journal Constitutional Political Economy.
Volume (Year): 6 (1995)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102866
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- David Cayla, 2006. "Ex Post and Ex Ante Coordination: Principles of Coherence in Organizations and Markets," UniversitÃ© Paris1 PanthÃ©on-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00110810, HAL.
- Pierre Garrouste, 2008. "The Austrian roots of the economics of institutions," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 251-269, December.
- Stefano Fiori, 2010. "Is H.A. Simon a theoretician of decentralized planning? A comparison with F.A. Hayek on planning, market, and organizations," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 145-170, June.
- Richard R. Nelson & Bhaven N. Sampat, 2001. "Las instituciones como factor que regula el desempeño económico," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 3(5), pages 17-51, July-Dece.
- Garzarelli, Giampaolo, 2006. "The Organizational Approach of Capability Theory: A Review Essay," MPRA Paper 4362, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Garzarelli, Giampaolo & Holian, Matthew J., 2011. "Parchment, guns, and the problem of governance," MPRA Paper 43724, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Thorbjørn Knudsen, 2002. "The Evolution of Cooperation in Structured Populations," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 129-148, June.
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