The Mechanisms of Governance / Edition 1

The Mechanisms of Governance / Edition 1

by Oliver E. Williamson
     
 

This book brings together in one place the work of one of our most respected economic theorists, on a field in which he has played a large part in originating: the New Institutional Economics. Transaction cost economics, which studies the governance of contractual relations, is the branch of the New Institutional Economics with which Oliver Williamson is especially… See more details below

Overview

This book brings together in one place the work of one of our most respected economic theorists, on a field in which he has played a large part in originating: the New Institutional Economics. Transaction cost economics, which studies the governance of contractual relations, is the branch of the New Institutional Economics with which Oliver Williamson is especially associated. Transaction cost economics takes issue with one of the fundamental building blocks in microeconomics: the theory of the firm. Whereas orthodox economics describes the firm in technological terms, as a production function, transaction cost economics describes the firm in organizational terms, as a governance structure. Alternative feasible forms of organization - firms, markets, hybrids, bureaus - are examined comparatively. The analytical action resides in the details of transactions and the mechanisms of governance. Transaction cost economics has had a pervasive influence on current economic thought about how and why institutions function as they do, and it has become a practical framework for research in organizations by representatives of a variety of disciplines. Through a transaction cost analysis, The Mechanisms of Governance shows how and why simple contracts give way to complex contracts and internal organization as the hazards of contracting build up. That complicates the study of economic organization, but a richer and more relevant theory of organization is the result. Many testable implications and lessons for public policy accrue to this framework. Applications of both kinds are numerous and growing.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195078244
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
03/28/1996
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.60(d)

Meet the Author

Oliver E. Williamson is the Edgar F. Kaiser Professor of Business, Professor of Economics, and Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of numerous works in which law, economics, and organization are joined.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Mechanisms of Governance3
1Transaction Cost Economics and the Carnegie Connection23
2Chester Barnard and the Incipient Science of Organization29
3Transaction Cost Economics54
4Comparative Economic Organization: The Analysis of Discrete Structural Alternatives93
5Credible Commitments: Using Hostages to Support Exchange120
6Economic Institutions: Spontaneous and Intentional Governance145
7Corporate Finance and Corporate Governance171
8The Politics and Economics of Redistribution and Inefficiency195
9Transaction Cost Economics and Organization Theory219
10Calculativeness, Trust, and Economic Organization250
11Delimiting Antitrust279
12Strategizing, Economizing, and Economic Organization307
13The Institutions and Governance of Economic Development and Reform322
14Transaction Cost Economics and the Evolving Science of Organization349
Glossary377
References381
Index411

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