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An inquiry into the explanatory virtues of transaction cost economics

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  • Hardt, Lukasz

Abstract

The aim of this paper is twofold. First, we offer a methodological reflection on how the explanatory virtues of economic theories can be assessed in a systematic way. Second, we use that theoretical apparatus to study the explanatory virtues of Transaction Cost Economics (TCE, henceforth). Precisely, we are primarily interested in assessing the progress within TCE with respect to its explanatory power rather than directly comparing TCE’s explanatory virtues to alternative theories. The paper offers also some general insights into the way we compare economic theories.

Suggested Citation

  • Hardt, Lukasz, 2011. "An inquiry into the explanatory virtues of transaction cost economics," MPRA Paper 39561, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:39561
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Williamson, Oliver E, 1979. "Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractural Relations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 233-261, October.
    2. Kurz, Mordecai, 1974. "Equilibrium in a Finite Sequence of Markets with Transaction Cost," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(1), pages 1-20, January.
    3. Uskali Mäki, 2004. "Theoretical isolation and explanatory progress: transaction cost economics and the dynamics of dispute," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(3), pages 319-346, May.
    4. Klaes, Matthias, 2001. "Begriffsgeschichte: between the Scylla of Conceptual and the Charybdis of Institutional History of Economics," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(02), pages 153-179, June.
    5. Lukasz, Hardt, 2009. "The history of transaction cost economics and its recent developments," MPRA Paper 17989, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Williamson, Oliver E., 1988. "Technology and transaction cost economics : A reply," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 355-363, October.
    7. Oliver Williamson, 1994. "Research Needs and Opportunities in Transaction Cost Economics," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 45-46.
    8. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "`Long-term contracting, sticky prices, and monetary policy' : A comment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 317-323, July.
    9. Williamson, Oliver E., 1996. "Transaction cost economics and the Carnegie connection," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 149-155, November.
    10. Pessali, Huascar F., 2006. "The rhetoric of Oliver Williamson's transaction cost economics," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(01), pages 45-65, April.
    11. Richard Lipsey, 2001. "Successes and failures in the transformation of economics," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(2), pages 169-201.
    12. Oliver E. Williamson, 1967. "Hierarchical Control and Optimum Firm Size," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 123-123.
    13. Klaes, Matthias, 2000. "The Birth of the Concept of Transaction Costs: Issues and Controversies," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(4), pages 567-593, December.
    14. Francine Lafontaine & Margaret Slade, 2007. "Vertical Integration and Firm Boundaries: The Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 629-685, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    transaction cost economics; Oliver Williamson; explanatory power; explanatory virtues; twentieth century economics;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • B15 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary

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