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Institutional Economics and Business History: A Way Forward?

  • Mark Casson
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    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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    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00076799700000150
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    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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