Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=11418
 


 



Lawyers as Transaction Cost Engineers


Ronald J. Gilson


Stanford Law School; Columbia Law School; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

August 1997


Abstract:     
Recognition that organizational and transactional structure can be understood as mechanisms that economize on information, bargaining, and agency costs has given rise to a large and important literature that explains the existence and efficiency of particular institutional arrangements by reference to the transaction cost properties of the activity involved. The question, then, is what mechanisms drive the transaction cost economizing process itself. One might simply rely on the assumption of competition. But it would be strange if an economic orientation that focused on market imperfections to explain observed patterns of organizing economic activity fell back on the invisible hand (and the institutionless features) of market driven selection to explain the mechanisms of transaction cost economizing. This paper examines the role of business lawyers as transaction cost engineers whose function is to act as organizational intermediaries, designing transaction cost efficient structures through which to carry out productive activities.

working papers series


Not Available For Download

Date posted: October 17, 1997  

Suggested Citation

Gilson, Ronald J., Lawyers as Transaction Cost Engineers (August 1997). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=11418

Contact Information

Ronald J. Gilson (Contact Author)
Stanford Law School ( email )
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States
650-723-0614 (Phone)
650-725-0253 (Fax)
Columbia Law School ( email )
435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States
212-854-1655 (Phone)
212-854-7946 (Fax)
European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium
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