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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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Geoffrey M. Hodgson, 2006. "Economics in the Shadows of Darwin and Marx," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3925, December.
    2. Williamson, Oliver E., 2007. "Transaction Cost Economics: An Introduction," Economics Discussion Papers 2007-3, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    3. Jean Tirole, 2006. "The Theory of Corporate Finance," Post-Print hal-00173191, HAL.
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    1. > Microeconomics > Transaction Cost Economics

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    Cited by:

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    2. Mikko Ketokivi & Joseph T. Mahoney, 2020. "Transaction Cost Economics As a Theory of Supply Chain Efficiency," Production and Operations Management, Production and Operations Management Society, vol. 29(4), pages 1011-1031, April.
    3. Vlad Tarko, 2015. "The challenge of empirically assessing the effects of constitutions," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 46-76, March.
    4. Gigante, Anna Azzurra, 2013. "Institutional Cognitive Economics: some recent developments," MPRA Paper 48278, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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