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Pragmatic methodology: a sketch, with applications to transaction cost economics

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  • Oliver Williamson

Abstract

I address the topic of pragmatic methodology as a practitioner in applied microeconomics who has been working in the still nascent field of the 'economics of organization'. My purpose is both to make explicit the methodology out of which transaction cost economics works and to suggest that other theories of economic organization do the same. Conceivably convergence will develop in the process, maybe even a consensus. At a minimum, it will be useful to have each implicit methodology made explicit. I begin with some contrasting views on methodology. Section 2 sets out the rudiments of pragmatic methodology. Section 3 examines how transaction cost economics responds to the four precepts of pragmatic methodology. Additional methodological considerations that are posed by transaction cost economics are discussed in section 4. Concluding remarks follow.

Suggested Citation

  • Oliver Williamson, 2009. "Pragmatic methodology: a sketch, with applications to transaction cost economics," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 145-157.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:16:y:2009:i:2:p:145-157
    DOI: 10.1080/13501780902940729
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    Cited by:

    1. Prateek Goorha & Vijay Mohan, 2016. "Toward a theory of Smart Institutions," Journal of Economic Structures, Springer;Pan-Pacific Association of Input-Output Studies (PAPAIOS), vol. 5(1), pages 1-23, December.
    2. Gigante, Anna Azzurra, 2013. "Institutional Cognitive Economics: some recent developments," MPRA Paper 48278, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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