The Problem of Production: A new theory of the firm, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Problem of Production

A new theory of the firm, 1st Edition

By Per L. Bylund


186 pages

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The theory of the firm has been fertile ground for economists. Bylund proposes a new theory, rooted in Austrian economics, which examines the firm as a part of the market, and not as a free-standing entity. In this integrated view, a theory is offered which incorporates entrepreneurship, production, market process and economic development.


"The author succeeds in spotlighting the economic function provided by the firm—in place of the traditional view of starting with the conception of a firm —by first looking at the market and its limitations to production. Consequentially, this theory development adds an interesting twist to the attempts to understand the existence of firms." - Erik Markin and Vishal Gupta, Organization Management Journal

"After reading The Problem of Production: A New Theory of the Firm, one no longer is inclined to ask the question about firm’s existence. A more proper question should be "Why do markets exist?" Bylund has made a compelling Austrian argument that makes the firm’s appearance even more fundamental than the market…So far, the most important Austrian contributions to the theory of the firm were made in significant articles in Klein and Foss (2012), where authors are building bridges by finding enlightening and eloquently Austrian themes in competing theories. Bylund’s book structure takes a more sweeping approach and builds his theory from scratch on Austrian foundations." - Mateusz Machaj, Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. What We Know and What We Don’t Know about the Firm 2. The Extent of the Market Process 3. The ‘Specialisation Deadlock’ 4. Entrepreneurship and Integration 5. Authority and Hierarchy 6. The Volatile Character of the Firm 7. Financing, Ownership and Boundaries of the Firm 8 The Firm as a Market Institution 9 The Nature of the Market Process 10 Policy Implications 11 What the Future Holds

About the Author

Per L. Bylund is Records-Johnston Professor of Free Enterprise and Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, School of Entrepreneurship, Oklahoma State University, USA.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Heterodox Economics

Over the past two decades, the intellectual agendas of heterodox economists have taken a decidedly pluralist turn.  Leading thinkers have begun to move beyond the established paradigms of Austrian, feminist, Institutional-evolutionary, Marxian, Post Keynesian, radical, social, and Sraffian economics—opening up new lines of analysis, criticism, and dialogue among dissenting schools of thought.  This cross-fertilization of ideas is creating a new generation of scholarship in which novel combinations of heterodox ideas are being brought to bear on important contemporary and historical problems.

Routledge Advances in Heterodox Economics aims to promote this new scholarship by publishing innovative books in heterodox economic theory, policy, philosophy, intellectual history, institutional history, and pedagogy.  Syntheses or critical engagement of two or more heterodox traditions are especially encouraged.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economic History
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / Theory