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The Economic Analysis of Institutions and Organisations - in General and with Respect to Country Studies

  • Oliver E. Williamson

Institutional questions have become increasingly prominent in the evaluation of nearly every area of structural policy. The present article shows how formal economic analysis may be brought to bear on the problem of understanding institutions. It begins by reviewing the recent history of thought on the economics of organisations. It then outlines the fundamentals of transactions cost economics, a branch of economic theory which views organisations as a response to competitive pressures to align different ways of channelling or "governing" a transaction -- these governance forms include market, hybrid or hierarchy -- with the transactions requirements of different economic sectors. The paper then demonstrates the applicability of this theory, which represents a significant departure from the neo-classical theory of the firm, in such diverse areas as intermediate product markets, corporate finance and governance, the modern corporation, regulation and deregulation and the failure of ... Les aspects institutionnels occupent une place de plus en plus importante dans l'évaluation de presque tous les domaines de la politique structurelle. Le présent article montre comment une analyse économique en bonne et due forme peut s'appliquer au problème de la compréhension des institutions. Après un passage en revue de l'évolution récente de la pensée en matière d'économie des entreprises, sont énoncés les principes de l'économie des coûts de transaction, branche de la théorie économique qui considère les entreprises comme une réponse aux pressions concurrentielles visant à adapter différents moyens d'acheminer ou de "gouverner" une transaction -- par exemple, par le marché, des systèmes hybrides ou la hiérarchie -- aux besoins des différents secteurs de l'économie. L'auteur montre ensuite l'applicabilité de cette théorie, qui s'écarte sensiblement de la théorie néo-classique de l'entreprise, dans des domaines aussi divers que les marchés de produits intermédiaires, les ...

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 133.

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Date of creation: 1993
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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:133-en
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