The Economics of Business Enterprise: An Introduction to Economic Organization and the Theory of the Firm

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Edward Elgar, 2002 - Business enterprises - 590 pages
To own or not to own? To make or to buy? To franchise or to manage? To contract long or to contract short? To trust or not to trust? To license or not to license? These and other questions are the subject matter of this excellent introduction to the theory of economic organisation.

This fully updated edition of Martin Ricketts's 1987 book includes:

  • New developments in the property rights theory of the firm
  • Further extended treatment of co-operative and mutual forms of enterprise
  • Entirely new sections on transactions cost economics and public policy
  • New chapters on the economics of privatisation and the regulation of 'natural monopoly'.

In addition, transaction cost, property rights and agency approaches are contrasted, and Austrian and evolutionary criticisms of standard theory are explored. The author applies these theories to a wide range of questions from the choice of piece rates or time rates in contracting to the debate on Anglo-American versus other 'varieties of capitalism'. Public policy in the fields of regulation and privatisation is also considered using the same framework.

Non-specialists will find this book to be an accessible introduction to the main theoretical approaches to economic organisation. Students and researchers specialising in the fields of economics and business will find that this third, updated edition of The Economics of Business Enterprise continues to provide stimulating insights suggestive of further research.

From inside the book


The entrepreneur
Property rights

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About the author (2002)

Martin Ricketts, Professor of Economic Organisation, University of Buckingham, UK

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