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Firm

  • Jackie Krafft

    (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - CNRS : UMR6227 - Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis)

Seventy years ago, Ronald Coase, Nobel Prize in 1991, wrote a seminal paper “The nature of the firm”. This paper is now traditionally considered as the origins of the development of an economic theory of the firm. Before this article, the firm was assimilated to a ‘black box', incorporating inputs and generating outputs. Coase (1937) argued that the firm was more than this purely technical vision: the firm has a concrete existence in the business world, and its internal modes of organisation (especially the coordination of individuals by hierarchies) are different from simple market transactions (coordinated by prices). With this statement, he encouraged economists to elaborate realistic hypotheses on what is a firm, and what a firm does. Today, the research agenda opened up by Coase is far from being completed. Recent works on the economics of the firm converge to show how difficult it is to fully grasp and qualify this subject. The outcome is that the economics of the firm is a combination of different subjects, and no single model or theory captures all elements of the puzzle. This chapter is intended to give an overview of some of the key analytical and empirical issues that are debated today, and especially how the distinction between managerial and entrepreneurial evolves but still firms structures the current research agenda on the economics of the firm.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number hal-00207817.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Publication status: Published, International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, Thompson Learning (Ed.), 2008, 148-149
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00207817
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00207817/en/
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  1. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1995. "A Survey of Corporate Governance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1741, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-58, December.
  3. J. Krafft & J. -L. Ravix, 2008. "Corporate Governance And The Governance Of Knowledge: Rethinking The Relationship In Terms Of Corporate Coherence," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1-2), pages 79-95.
  4. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver, 1985. "The Cost and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 70, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Richard N. Langlois, 2001. "The Vanishing Hand: the Changing Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism," Economic History 0110001, EconWPA.
  6. Jackie Krafft & Jacques-Laurent Ravix, 2005. "The governance of innovative firms: An evolutionary perspective," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(3), pages 125-147.
  7. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1998. "Power in a Theory of the Firm," CEPR Discussion Papers 1777, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Geroski, P. A., 1995. "What do we know about entry?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 421-440, December.
  9. Marco Becht & Tim Jenkinson & Colin Mayer, 2005. "Corporate governance: an assessment," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13308, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  10. Martin Fransman, 2004. "The telecoms boom and bust 1996-2003 and the role of financial markets," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 369-406, October.
  11. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  12. Audretsch, David B., 1995. "Innovation, growth and survival," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 441-457, December.
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