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Williamson: The economics of organization

Disclaimer. Don't rely on these old notes in lieu of reading the literature, but they can jog your memory. As a grad student long ago, my peers and I collaborated to write and exchange summaries of political science research. I posted them to a wiki-style website. "Wikisum" is now dead but archived here. I cannot vouch for these notes' accuracy, nor can I say who wrote them.

Williamson. 1981. The economics of organization: The transaction cost approach. American Journal of Sociology 87: 548-77.

A somewhat dense analysis of how transaction costs affect organizational decisions. In effect, this is the point: Using a complex structure to govern simple transactions incurs unneeded costs, but using a simple structure to govern a complex transaction invites strain (562). Thus, because there are many types of transactions, there are many types of organizations (568).

Research on similar subjects


Williamson, Oliver (author)EconomicsTransaction costsStructuralismFunctionalismRational ChoiceInstitutionsOrigins of InstitutionsBounded Rationality

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