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交易成本理论及其在商业中的应用Transaction cost theory and its application to business

Beginnings of transaction theory:交易成本理论概述

Markets vs. hierarchies
Outside the firm, price movements direct production, which is co-ordinated through a series of exchange transactions on the market. Within a firm, these market transactions are

eliminated and in place of the complicated market structure with exchange transactions is substituted the entrepreneur-co-ordinator, who directs production. It is clear that

these are alternative methods for co-ordinating production.” (Coase, 1937, p.388)

Transaction costs:交易成本
Transactions costs: any costs above and beyond cost of production, such as cost of writing and enforcing contracts
In pairs, identify examples of ‘transaction costs’ you incur when buying and selling a house.

Transaction cost assumptions交易成本的假设(1): Bounded rationality:有限理性

Bounded rationality: humans have limited capacity to fully evaluate all consequences and solve complex problems

Transaction cost assumptions交易成本的假设(2):Opportunism:投机主义
Opportunism: individuals will seek to exploit opportunities to their own advantage BUT not all will do so all the time (hence difficult to determine opportunism ex ante –

before the event) especially problematic for transactions with small number of organisations - might lack concern over reputational effects

Problem with Coase’s transaction cost theory:科斯交易成本理论的问题

Idea that choice between market or firm (hierarchy) should be determined by relative transaction costs, i.e. lowest transaction cost mode should be preferred form,
How to measure and determine transaction costs?

Williamson: Dimensions of transactions
If markets are not fully competitive, dimensions of transactions are indicators of whether firm or market is preferred governance structure
Asset specificity:交易商品或资产的特殊性
Transaction frequency: 交易的频率

1. Asset specificity:交易商品或资产的特殊性
Assets that are tailored to a specific transaction and that cannot easily be transferred to other transactions
1. Idiosyncratic investments in facilities
2. Idiosyncratic investments in equipment
3. Idiosyncratic investments in people
4. Idiosyncratic investments in branding

2. Uncertainty:交易不确定性
• Volume uncertainty: inability to accurately forecast volumes of demand/supply – firm or market?
• Technical uncertainty: rapid changes and unpredictability of technology – firm or market?
• Behavioural uncertainty: performance evaluation problematic, i.e. whether or not contract has been fulfilled – firm or market?

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