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Transaction Cost Economics: An Introduction

  • Williamson, Oliver E.

This overview of transaction cost economics is organized around the "Carnegie Triple" – be disciplined; be interdisciplinary; have an active mind. The first of these urges those who would open up the black box of economic organization to do so in a modest, slow, molecular, definitive way, with the object of deriving refutable implications and submitting these to empirical testing. The second recommends that the student of economic organization be prepared to cross disciplinary boundaries if and as this is needed to preserve veridical contact with the phenomena. The injunction have an active mind is implemented by being curious and asking the question "What is going on here?" The paper concludes with a discussion of operationalization.

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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 2007-3.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:5517
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  1. Patrick Bajari & Steven Tadelis, 1999. "Incentives versus Transaction Costs: A Theory of Procurement Contracts," Working Papers 99029, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  2. Williamson, Oliver E, 1971. "The Vertical Integration of Production: Market Failure Considerations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 112-23, May.
  3. Simon, Herbert A, 1978. "Rationality as Process and as Product of Thought," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 1-16, May.
  4. Jonathan Levin & Steven Tadelis, 2007. "Contracting for Government Services: Theory and Evidence from U.S. Cities," NBER Working Papers 13350, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Steven Tadelis, 2002. "Complexity, Flexibility, and the Make-or-Buy Decision," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 433-437, May.
  6. Armen A. Alchian & Harold Demsetz, 1971. "Production, Information Costs and Economic Organizations," UCLA Economics Working Papers 10A, UCLA Department of Economics.
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