Păunescu 3-4/2002

Sociologie Românească (Romanian Sociology), XIII new series no. 3-4/2002, pp. 33-43.



SR 2002 3-4 coperta

Costurile tranzacționale: incidențe în economie, sociologie și științele politice

Transactional costs: incidences in economics, sociology and political science

Mihai Păunescu



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Abstract (Rezumat în limba engleză): The article is meant to reveal the distinctive features of transaction costs theory and some of its applications, particularly in sociology and political science. As known, the theory has been developed in organisational economics by R.H. Coase and O.E. Williamson and it is strongly associated with the new institutional economics. First, the article proceeds with the introduction of the core concept of the new paradigm, the transaction as a legal transfer of control, a definition of the new paradigm, the transaction as a legal transfer of control, a definition which owes very much to J.R. Commons. The thrust of transaction costs theory is subsequently unveiled in the works of Coase, North and Williamson who seek to explain the emergence of firms and the prevalence of capitalist modes of economic organisation. The difference in the approaches of these authors lies in the way the causal determinations between institutions and transaction costs are conceived. Finally, two applications of the transaction costs theory in explaining economic regulation and the role of government are presented. The basic idea put forward is the new paradigm has changed the perspective in economics, being able to explain differences in economic performances, and has thereafter spanned the boundaries of economics having produced remarkable results in political sciences, development studies and sociology.