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Institutional Economics and Business History: A Way Forward?

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  • Mark Casson
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    Abstract

    Analytical business history requires a synthesis of theories of transaction cost, entrepreneurship and firm-specific competence. These theories can be integrated using the concept of information cost. Economies of information cost explain the emergence of market-making intermediation in capitalist economies. Economists have been so preoccupied with production that they have ignored the role of market-making intermediation, despite the fact that market-making intermediation has a crucial impact on the strategy and organisation of the firm. This essay charts the historical emergence of market-making intermediation, and analyses its effects using a diagrammatic technique specially developed for this purpose. It is suggested that the concept of information cost, and the techniques of analysis allied with it, offer a useful way forward for business historians.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Business History.

    Volume (Year): 39 (1997)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 151-171

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:bushst:v:39:y:1997:i:4:p:151-171

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    Cited by:
    1. Monica Keneley, 2006. "The Evolution of Solvency and Disclosure Standards in the Australian Life Insurance Industry," Economics Series 2006_18, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
    2. Howells, Jeremy, 2006. "Intermediation and the role of intermediaries in innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 715-728, June.
    3. Buckley, Peter J., 2009. "The impact of the global factory on economic development," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 131-143, April.
    4. Magnus Lindmark & Lars-Fredrik Andersson & Mike Adams, 2006. "The Evolution and Development of the Swedish Insurance Market," Accounting History Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 341-370.
    5. Maixe-Altes, J. Carles, 2011. "Governance in Spanish Savings Banks. A Historical Perspective," MPRA Paper 29535, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Lepore, Amedeo, 2012. "New research methods of business history," MPRA Paper 36952, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Monica Keneley & Margaret McKenzie, 2006. "An Evaluation of Privatisations in Australian Banking and Insurance," Economics Series 2006_09, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.

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