This essay draws on the transaction costs model of the firm and an Austrian perspective on the knowledge problem in centrally planned orders to propose an empirically useful Austrian theory of central planning. After an initial review of existing theories of the firm, part two develops insights from the calculation debate to sketch a theory of planning centered on the interrelated problems of purpose, information and control in both individual and central planning. Part three joins this theory to the basic framework of the transaction cost model to produce an Austrian theory of the private firm that addresses the relation between knowledge and power in planned orders, and illustrates its principal themes through a discussion of the historical development of American manufacturing in the fifty years prior to World War I.
The Review of Austrian Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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