Is the Firm an Individual?
This paper shows how three new institutionalist theories try, but ultimately fail to support the firm-as-individual thesis. First, Karl Marx/O. Hart's idea of property rights and R. H. Coase/O. E. Williamson's notion of transaction costs are insufficient to substantiate the market/firm dichotomy. Second, F. A. Hayek's constructionist view presents the firm, as opposed to the market, as a designed order--no different from artifacts such as tables and cars. Third, V. J. Vanberg's constitutionalist theory also fails to support the firm-as-individual thesis. The paper suggests that the 'consented goal' notion is a fruitful ground upon which to build the firm-as-individual thesis. Copyright 1997 by Oxford University Press.
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Volume (Year): 21 (1997)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
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