Elgar Companion to Transaction Cost Economics

Cite this Article
Michael E. Sykuta, Elgar Companion to Transaction Cost Economics, Truth on the Market (September 24, 2010), https://truthonthemarket.com/2010/09/24/elgar-companion-to-transaction-cost-economics/

Peter Klein (over at Organizations and Markets) and I recently edited a volume for the Elgar Companion series titled The Elgar Companion to Transaction Cost Economics. At long last, the volume will be available in the US in November, 2010; in plenty of time for spring semester classes that might want to incorporate some or all of the readings in the book.

Transaction cost economics (TCE)  has become a dominant, if not mainstream, theoretical approach for understanding a variety of applied topics such as vertical integration, the structure of networks and alliances, franchise contracting, the multinational firm, parts of antitrust analysis, marketing channels, and more. The influence TCE has come to have in law, economics and organization theory was recognized last year when the Nobel  Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded, in part, to Oliver Williamson “for his analysis of economic governance, especially the boundaries of the firm”, which has come to be known as TCE.

Our objective in editing this volume was to create a thorough, if not exhaustive, resource for individuals interested in better understanding TCE, its intellectual origins, the fundamental concepts underlying the theory, TCE’s application in a broad array of specific fields, and some critiques of the theory. The volume includes articles from a range of leading scholars in their respective fields, including my fellow blogger, Josh Wright.

Scott Masten, one of the early scholars to apply and promulgate TCE, offered these comments in his review of the book:

‘Not too long ago it was possible to be familiar with all of the important works and latest developments in transaction cost economics. That that is no longer the case is a testament to the intellectual appeal and empirical success of the transaction cost approach. For newcomers, the entries in this volume, by some of TCE’s most knowledgeable and eloquent contributors, offer an excellent introduction to the issues, methods, discoveries, and debates in the field; for veterans, the volume provides a highly valuable resource for catching up on the newest research.’

Following is a copy of the table of contents, for those interested.

1 Editors’ introduction, by Peter G. Klein and Michael E. Sykuta
2 Transaction cost economics: an overview, by Oliver E. Williamson
3 Transaction cost economics and the new institutional economics, by Peter G. Klein

4 Ronald H. Coase, by Michael E. Sykuta
5 Cyert, March, and the Carnegie school, by Mie Augier
6 Chester Barnard, by Joseph T. Mahoney
7 Commons, Hurst, Macaulay, and the Wisconsin legal tradition, by D. Gordon Smith
8 F.A. Hayek, by Peter G. Klein
9 Herbert Simon, by Saras Sarasvathy
10 Property rights economics, by Nicolai J. Foss

11 The costs of exchange, by Alexandra Benham and Lee Benham
12 Asset specificity and holdups, by Benjamin Klein
13 The transaction as the unit of analysis, by Nicholas Argyres
14 Bounded rationality and organizational economics, by Nicolai J. Foss
15 Economizing and strategizing, by Jackson A. Nickerson and James C. Yen
16 Empirical methods in transaction cost economics, by Michael E. Sykuta

17 Vertical integration, by Peter G. Klein
18 Hybrid organizations, by Claude Ménard
19 Franchising, by Steven C. Michael
20 The structure of franchise contracts, by Emmanuel Raynaud
21 Strategy and transaction costs, by Laura Poppo
22 Labour economics and human resource management, by Bruce A. Rayton
23 The Chicago school, transaction cost economics, and antitrust, by Joshua D. Wright
24 Financial-market contracting, by Dean V. Williamson

25 Critiques of transaction cost economics: an overview, by Nicolai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein
26 Subjectivism, understanding, and transaction costs, by Fu-Lai Tony Yu
27 Austrian economics and the theory of the firm, by Nicolai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein
28 Limits of transaction cost analysis, by Geoffrey M. Hodgson