This is the second book celebrating Brian Loasby's contribution to economics by an internationally renowned group of authors including Mark Casson, G.B. Richardson, Nicolai Foss, Keith Pavitt, Martin Fransman and Richard Day. It extends Brian Loasby's work in the area of the theory of the firm and related methodological issues.
This book is mainly concerned with the theory of the firm, a subject central to much of Brian Loasby's work. The authors begin by considering the existence and nature of firms and their internal and external relations, paying special attention to the themes of coordination and communication costs in a world of surprise and change. The discussion then moves on to the way in which firms use and create knowledge and capabilities, referring to questions of organization, with some detailed empirical investigation of high technology industries. The final part focuses on methodological issues including rationality, knowledge, incommensurability and equilibrium, in the context of different traditions.
This book will be welcomed by microeconomists especially those interested in the theory of the firm and methodology.
Edited by Sheila C. Dow, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Stirling, UK and Peter E. Earl, Senior Lecturer in Business Economics, University of Queensland, Australia
Contents: Introduction 1. What Can an Economist Learn from Managing a Business? 2. Information Costs, Protocols and the Boundaries of the Firm 3. Incomplete Contracts and Economic Organization 4. Loasby and Decisions 5. Three Stories about the Computer Industry and the Relevance of the Loasbian View of the Firm 6. The Changing Nature of Corporate Technological Diversification and the Importance of Organizational Capability 7. Divisions of Labour in the Innovating Firm 8. The Methodological Implications of Post Marshallian Economics 9. The Bounds of Rationality 10. Bounded Rationality, `Fundamental' Uncertainty and the Firm in the Long Run 11. The Growth of Knowledge and the Subjective Probability Approach 12. Disequilibrium States and Adjustment Processes 13. Equilibrium and Incommensurability 14. Economics, the State and the State of Economics 15. Choice, Complexity and Connections 16. Concluding Reflections Index