OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

The Economic Analysis of Institutions and Organisations - in General and with Respect to Country Studies

Institutional questions have become increasingly prominent in the evaluation of nearly every area of structural policy. The present article shows how formal economic analysis may be brought to bear on the problem of understanding institutions. It begins by reviewing the recent history of thought on the economics of organisations. It then outlines the fundamentals of transactions cost economics, a branch of economic theory which views organisations as a response to competitive pressures to align different ways of channelling or "governing" a transaction -- these governance forms include market, hybrid or hierarchy -- with the transactions requirements of different economic sectors. The paper then demonstrates the applicability of this theory, which represents a significant departure from the neo-classical theory of the firm, in such diverse areas as intermediate product markets, corporate finance and governance, the modern corporation, regulation and deregulation and the failure of ...


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