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Transaction Costs Through Time

Опубликовано на портале: 05-02-2003
Economics Working Paper Archive at WUSTL. 1994. 
An economic definition of transaction costs is the costs of measuring what is being exchanged and enforcing agreements. In the larger context of societal evolution they are all the costs involved in human interaction over time. It is this larger context that North explores in this essay. The concept is a close kin to the notion of social capital advanced by James Coleman (1990) and applied imaginatively to studying the differential patterns of Italian regional development by Robert Putnam in Making Democracy Work (1993). This essay, therefore, is a study in economic history which focuses on the costs of human coordination and cooperation through time which I regard as the key dilemma of societies past, present and future.

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