经济学人:公司理论:科斯集结令(03)

In 1991 Coase was awarded the Nobel prize for economics, largely on the strength of these two papers.

1991年,主要是因为这两篇论文的力量,科斯荣获了诺贝尔经济学奖。

But as late as 1972, he lamented that “The nature of the firm” had been “much cited and little used”.

但是,早在1972年,他就曾经抱怨说,《公司的性质》“被引用了很多次,却很少被用到”。

In a strange way, Coase himself was partly to blame.

说来奇怪,这部分要怪科斯本人。

The idea of transaction costs was such a good catch-all explanation for tricky subjects that it was used to close down further inquiry.

交易成本的思想是一种如此优秀的对棘手课题的全方位的解释,以至于一度被用来封杀进一步的探讨。

In fact, Coase's paper raised as many difficult questions as it answered.

实际上,科斯的论文提出了与其回答了一样多的难题。

If firms exist to reduce transaction costs, why have market transactions at all?

如果公司是为降低交易成本存在,为什么还会有市场交易呢?

Why not further extend the firm's boundaries?

为什么不进一步扩展公司的边界呢?

In short, what decides how the economy as a whole is organised?

简言之,决定经济体是怎样作为一个整体被组织起来的是什么?

Almost as soon as Coase had wished for it, a body of more rigorous research on such questions began to flourish.

几乎就在科斯希望对这类问题的研究开花结果的同时,一批严禁的研究结出了硕果。

Central to it was the idea that it is difficult to specify all that is required of a business relationship, so some contracts are necessarily “incomplete”.

其核心观点是,列出为一种商业关系所需要的一切是困难的,因而有些合约必然是“不完整的”。

Important figures in this field include Oliver Williamson, winner of the Nobel prize in economics in 2009, and Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmstrom, who shared the prize in 2016.

这一领域的重要人物包括2009年诺贝尔经济学奖得主奥利弗·威廉姆森(Oliver Williamson) 以及在2006年分享了这一奖项的奥利弗·哈特(Oliver Hart) 和本格特·霍姆斯特罗姆(Bengt Holmstrom)。

These and other Coase apostles drew on the work of legal theorists in distinguishing between spot transactions and business relations that require longer-term or flexible contracts.

这些以及另外一些科斯的信徒,在区分现货交易和需要长期或灵活合约的商业关系时,借鉴了法理学家的研究。

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