The Foundations of Transaction Cost Economics


In this video, Professor Brian Silverman at the Rotman School of Management will present an overview of Transaction Cost Economics. He will start with the initial contribution of Ronald Coase in the 1930s and later developments by Williamson and other economists in 1970s. He will explain the three observable characteristics of transactions: asset-specificity, uncertainty, and frequency, as well as the recently introduced fourth dimension of appropriability.


Coase, Ronald H. (1937).  The nature of the firm. Economica 4(16): 386-405.

Williamson, Oliver E. (1975). Markets and Hierarchies. New York: Free Press.

Williamson, Oliver E. (1985). The Economic Institutions of Capitalism. New York: Free Press.

Williamson, Oliver E. (1991). Comparative economic organization: The analysis of discrete structural alternatives. Administrative Science Quarterly 36(2): 269-296