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The Professions in Theory and History: the Case of Pharmacy

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  • Deborah A. Savage

    (Babson College, SavageDe@Babson.edu)

Abstract

This paper puts forward an economic theory of professions, and tests that theory against the history of pharmacy practice. The paper defines a profession as a network of strategic alliances across ownership boundaries among independent practitioners who share a core competency. It then differentiates among alternative economic institutions by examining their capabilities and strategies for coordinating exchange and production. In ther case of pharmacy, the pharmacist's central task has always been the certification of the strength and purity of medicinal drugs. Over time, changes in technology and institutions, coupled with evolving theories of disease, have altered the location of drug research, production and dispensing. Each episode of change has resulted in border skirmishes between pharmacy and medicine, which have spilled over onto other institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Deborah A. Savage, 1994. "The Professions in Theory and History: the Case of Pharmacy," Industrial Organization 9406001, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:9406001
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Richard N. Langlois, 2002. "Modularity in Technology and Organization," Chapters,in: Entrepreneurship and the Firm, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Metcalfe, J.S. & James, Andrew & Mina, Andrea, 2005. "Emergent innovation systems and the delivery of clinical services: The case of intra-ocular lenses," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1283-1304, November.
    3. Consoli, Davide & Elche-Hortelano, Dioni, 2010. "Variety in the knowledge base of Knowledge Intensive Business Services," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 1303-1310, December.
    4. Gilles Allaire, 2004. "Cooperation, Qualification Professionnelle Et Regimes De Responsabilite," Post-Print hal-00839352, HAL.
    5. Paul L. Robertson & David Jacobson & Richard N. Langlois, 2009. "Innovation Processes and Industrial Districts," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Industrial Districts, chapter 21 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. D’Ippolito,Beatrice & Miozzo,Marcela & Consoli,Davide, 2012. "Knowledge systematisation and the development of a business function: the case of design," INGENIO (CSIC-UPV) Working Paper Series 201202, INGENIO (CSIC-UPV), revised 30 May 2012.
    7. Allaire, Gilles, 2009. "Economics of Conventions and the New Economic Sociology and our Understanding of Food Quality and New Food Markets and Trade Institutions: What are markets that pure economics does not know?," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 53203, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    8. Allaire, Gilles, 2013. "Les communs comme infrastructure institutionnelle de l’économie marchande," Revue de la Régulation - Capitalisme, institutions, pouvoirs, Association Recherche et Régulation, vol. 14.

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    JEL classification:

    • L - Industrial Organization

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