A Brief Prehistory of the Theory of the Firm: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

A Brief Prehistory of the Theory of the Firm

1st Edition

By Paul Walker

Routledge

124 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138488267
pub: 2018-05-08
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pub: 2018-05-11
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Description

The theory of the firm did not exist, in any serious manner, until around 1970. Only then did the current theory of the firm literature begin to emerge, based largely upon the work of Ronald Coase and to a lesser degree Frank Knight. It was work by Armen Alchian, Robert Crawford, Harold Demsetz, Michael Jensen, Benjamin Klein, William Meckling and Oliver Williamson, among others, that drove the upswing in interest in the firm among mainstream economists.

This accessible book provides a valuable overview of the ‘prehistory’ of the firm. Spanning an impressive timeline, it delves into Antiquity, the Medieval era, the pre-classical economics period and the 19th and 20th centuries. Next, the book traces the theoretical contributions from pre-classical, classical and neoclassical economics.

It will be illuminating reading for students and researchers of the history of economic thought, industrial organization, microeconomic theory and business history.

Table of Contents

1 Background

Notes

References

2 The division of labour and the firm

Ancient philosophers

Medieval period

Pre-classical economics period

19th century

20th century

Notes

References

3 Development of a theory of production or the firm

Pre-classical economists

The classical economics period

The neoclassical era

Behavioural and managerial models

Contemporary criticisms of the neoclassical model

Coase versus Demsetz on the neoclassical model

Profit maximisation

Malmgren (1961)

Notes

References

4 Possible reasons for the neglect of the firm

Notes

References

About the Author

Author

Paul Walker

Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand

Learn more about Paul Walker >>

Paul Walker is an economist in Christchurch, New Zealand. He received his PhD in Economics from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. His research is mainly on the history of economics and the theory of the firm.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the History of Economics

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUS000000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / General
BUS023000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economic History
BUS044000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / Microeconomics
BUS069030
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / Theory