Transaction Cost Economics: An Assessment of Empirical Research in the Social Sciences
Barak D. Richman
Duke University - School of Law
Jeffrey Thomas Macher
Georgetown University - Department of Strategy/Economics/Ethics/Public Policy
Duke Law School Legal Studies Paper No. 115
This paper provides a comprehensive review of the empirical literature in transaction cost economics (TCE) across multiple social science disciplines and business fields. We show how TCE has branched out from its economic roots to examine empirical phenomena in several other areas. We find TCE is increasingly being applied not only to business-related fields such as accounting, finance, marketing, and organizational theory, but also to areas outside of business including political science, law, public policy, and agriculture and health. With few exceptions, however, the use of TCE reasoning to inform empirical research in these areas is piecemeal. We find that there is considerable support of many of the central tenets of TCE, but we also observe a number of lingering theoretical and empirical issues that need to be addressed. We conclude by discussing the implications of these issues and outlining directions for future theoretical and empirical work.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 66
Keywords: Transaction Cost Economics, Organizational Theory
JEL Classification: L2, L14, D23
Date posted: August 16, 2006 ; Last revised: March 28, 2012
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