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Transaction Cost Economics: An Introduction

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  • Williamson, Oliver E.

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Williamson, Oliver E., 2007. "Transaction Cost Economics: An Introduction," Economics Discussion Papers 2007-3, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:5517
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972. "Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-795, December.
    2. Bajari, Patrick & Tadelis, Steven, 2001. "Incentives versus Transaction Costs: A Theory of Procurement Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 387-407, Autumn.
    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. Steven Tadelis, 2002. "Complexity, Flexibility, and the Make-or-Buy Decision," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 433-437, May.
    5. Williamson, Oliver E, 1971. "The Vertical Integration of Production: Market Failure Considerations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 112-123, May.
    6. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Vladimir Dvoracek, 2009. "Vertical Integration and Sunk Capital in Transition Economies," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(1), pages 19-32.
    2. Oliver Williamson, 2009. "Pragmatic methodology: a sketch, with applications to transaction cost economics," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 145-157.
    3. repec:eee:tefoso:v:127:y:2018:i:c:p:271-280 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Zhang, Lei & Zhu, Xueqin & Heerink, Nico & Shi, Xiaoping, 2014. "Does output market development affect irrigation water institutions? Insights from a case study in northern China," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 70-78.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior

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