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Markets and Multiunit Firms from an American Historical Perspective

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  • Sukkoo Kim

Abstract

The expansion of markets and industrialization greatly increased the benefits of specialization in the U.S. economy. However, since the benefits of specialization can only be realized through trade, specialization significantly increases the volume of market transactions in the economy. The analysis presented in this paper suggests that a better understanding of the historical changes in the nature of market transactions costs, especially those related to information, is likely to provide considerable insights on the rise of the modern business enterprise and a richer understanding of the industrial organization of the U.S. economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Sukkoo Kim, 2001. "Markets and Multiunit Firms from an American Historical Perspective," NBER Working Papers 8232, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8232
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Schmalensee, Richard, 1978. "A Model of Advertising and Product Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(3), pages 485-503, June.
    2. Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-329, March-Apr.
    3. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-641, August.
    4. Libecap, Gary D, 1992. "The Rise of the Chicago Packers and the Origins of Meat Inspection and Antitrust," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(2), pages 242-262, April.
    5. Sokoloff, Kenneth L., 1984. "Investment in Fixed and Working Capital During Early Industrialization: Evidence from U. S. Manufacturing Firms," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(02), pages 545-556, June.
    6. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marc Law & Gary D. Libecap, 2006. "The Determinants of Progressive Era Reform. The Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906," NBER Chapters,in: Corruption and Reform: Lessons from America's Economic History, pages 319-342 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Zeynep K. Hansen & Marc T. Law, 2008. "The Political Economy of Truth-in-Advertising Regulation during the Progressive Era," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(2), pages 251-269, May.
    3. Kapás, Judit, 2007. "Hogyan fejlődik a vállalat?. A fizikai és a társadalmi technológia kölcsönhatásos evolúciós folyamata
      [How do firms develop?. The mutual evolutionary process of physical and social technology]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(1), pages 49-66.
    4. Mokyr, Joel, 2001. "The rise and fall of the factory system: technology, firms, and households since the industrial revolution," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-45, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N0 - Economic History - - General
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior

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