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Disciplined stories in the governance of the New Institutional Economics


  • Keith Acheson


The New Institutional Economics (NIE) occupies an important space in the rapidly expanding theory of organization. Traditional testing techniques have only been applied to less complex parts of the NIE. A rich body of evidence generated by the experiences of firms and other organizations lies fallow. The limited domain of traditional testing will persist because of the nature of the central concepts of the NIE, the difficulty posed for integrating transaction cost into an optimizing framework by self-reference, and the particularly wicked manifestations of the Duhem-Quine problem. Experimental economics may add credibility to some components of the NIE but is unlikely to fill the current void. The catchy title, the telling anecdote, and the creative 'fact' have played a disproportionate role in determining the composition of the canonical literature in the NIE. Catalytic steps for developing professional norms governing the marshalling of data generated by different organizations and institutions are discussed in the concluding section.

Suggested Citation

  • Keith Acheson, 2001. "Disciplined stories in the governance of the New Institutional Economics," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(3), pages 341-371.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:7:y:2001:i:3:p:341-371
    DOI: 10.1080/135017800453733

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    2. Kreps, David M., 1990. "Game Theory and Economic Modelling," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198283812.
    3. Masten, Scott E. (ed.), 1996. "Case Studies in Contracting and Organization," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195092523.
    4. Larry Samuelson, 1998. "Evolutionary Games and Equilibrium Selection," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262692198, December.
    5. Akerlof,George A., 1984. "An Economic Theorist's Book of Tales," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521269339.
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    Cited by:

    1. Towse, Ruth, 2002. "Review of Richard E. Caves, Creative Industries: Contracts between Art and Commerce," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 234-263, February.


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