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Business and Politics

Editor-in-Chief: Aggarwal, Vinod K.

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Volume 10, Issue 1 (May 2008)


Transaction Cost Economics: An Assessment of Empirical Research in the Social Sciences

Jeffrey T Macher
  • Robert E. McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University
/ Barak D Richman
  • Duke University School of Law
Published Online: 2008-05-22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1469-3569.1210

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.

Keywords: institutional economics; transaction cost economics; empirical social sciences

About the article

Published Online: 2008-05-22

Citation Information: Business and Politics, ISSN (Online) 1469-3569, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1469-3569.1210. Export Citation

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