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The (non)Theory of the Knowledge Firm

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    This paper argues that the mainstream approaches to the theory of the firm do not provide a theory of the human capital based or knowledge based firm. We examine the textbook (neoclassical) theory of the firm, the transaction cost model, the incentive-system approach and the Grossman Hart Moore approach to the firm and argue that none of them are able to fully capture the changes to the firm that the movement towards a knowledge economy entails. We also consider the effects of knowledge on the location of production.

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    File URL: http://www.econ.canterbury.ac.nz/RePEc/cbt/econwp/0807.pdf
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    Paper provided by University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 08/07.

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    Length: 31 pages
    Date of creation: 10 Apr 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cbt:econwp:08/07
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand
    Phone: 64 3 369 3123 (Administrator)
    Fax: 64 3 364 2635
    Web page: http://www.econ.canterbury.ac.nz

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    1. Gary S. Murphy Becker & Kevin M., 1992. "The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 79, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
    2. Grossman, Sanford J. & Hart, Oliver D., 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Scholarly Articles 3450060, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    3. Hart, Oliver D. & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Scholarly Articles 3448675, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    4. Coase, R H, 1992. "The Institutional Structure of Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 713-19, September.
    5. Gibbons, Robert, 2005. "Four forma(lizable) theories of the firm?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 200-245, October.
    6. Demsetz, Harold, 1988. "The Theory of the Firm Revisited," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 141-61, Spring.
    7. Richard N. Langlois & Nicolai J. Foss, 1996. "Capabilities and Governance the Rebirth of Production in the Theory of Economic Organization," Working papers 1996-02, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    8. Holmstrom, Bengt & Tirole, Jean, 1991. "Transfer Pricing and Organizational Form," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 201-28, Fall.
    9. Ashish Arora & Andrea Fosfuri & Alfonso Gambardella, 2004. "Markets for Technology: The Economics of Innovation and Corporate Strategy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262511819, June.
    10. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Information and the Control of Productive Assets," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 51-76, April.
    11. Erik Brynjolfsson, 1994. "Information Assets, Technology and Organization," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(12), pages 1645-1662, December.
    12. Nicolai J. Foss, 1997. "The classical theory of production and the capabilities view of the firm," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 24(5), pages 307-323, October.
    13. Herbert A. Simon, 1991. "Organizations and Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 25-44, Spring.
    14. Cyert, Richard M & Hedrick, Charles L, 1972. "Theory of the Firm: Past, Present, and Future; An Interpretation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 398-412, June.
    15. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
    16. Richardson, G B, 1972. "The Organisation of Industry," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 82(327), pages 883-96, September.
    17. Brian J. Loasby, . "The Organisation of Capabilities," Working Papers Series 96/6, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
    18. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-91, September.
    19. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
    20. Hart, Oliver D, 1988. "Incomplete Contracts and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 119-39, Spring.
    21. Moore, John, 1992. "The firm as a collection of assets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 493-507, April.
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