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Capabilities and the Theory of the Firm


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  • Richard N. Langlois

    (The University of Connecticut)


This essay seeks to locate the ideas of G. B. Richardson within the present-day discussion of the theory of the boundaries of the firm. Richardson differs from the mainstream of transaction-cost economics in that, like Coase and Knight before him, he sees the problem of market contracting as a matter of difficult coordination rather than as a problem of "opportunism" in the face of contractual hazards, and in that he effectively links together transaction costs and production costs, categories sharply partitioned by traditional price theory (which largely ignored the former) and by transaction-cost economics (which largely ignores the latter).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Industrial Organization with number 9503002.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 16 Mar 1995
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:9503002

Note: 33 pages. Paper for the colloquium in honor of G. B. Richardson, January 4-6, 1995, St. John's College, Oxford.
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Cited by:
  1. Mehrdad Vahabi, 1998. "The Relevance of the Marshallian Concept of Normality in Interior and in Inertial Dynamics as Revisited by G. SHACKLE and J. KORNAI," Post-Print hal-00629181, HAL.
  2. Nicolai J. Foss, 1997. "Incomplete Contracts and Economic Organization Brian Loasby and the Theory of the Firm," DRUID Working Papers 97-11, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  3. Gavin C Reid, 1994. "Limit's to a Firm's Rate of Growth: the Richardsonian View and its Contemporary Empirical Significance," CRIEFF Discussion Papers 9426, Centre for Research into Industry, Enterprise, Finance and the Firm.
  4. Benjamin Coriat, 2004. "The State of Organizational Reform in European Firms: Evidence from a Comparative Overview of Ten EU Countries," LEM Papers Series 2004/04, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.


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