184 BOOK REVIEW basic transaction cost position contrasting it with power approaches and relates both to the analysis of formal hierarchies. The argument is that transaction cost economics already provides us with a set of powerful concepts and instruments but they need to be dimensionalised in order to become fully operational. He compares the efforts made to dimensionalise transaction cost economics with the failure to operationalise power approaches. The notion of operational content underpin- ning these claims requires unpacking. He links it especially strongly to predictive success. Moreover, the benchmark for operational adequacy often appears to be mainstream orthodox economic theory. No criticisms regarding operational ad- equacy are levelled against orthodox approaches. There seems to be a residual commitment to the method of orthodox economics. Operationalising transaction cost economics appears at times to correspond to the project of making transaction cost economics consistent with the method of orthodox economic theory. What is perhaps most concerning here is that in recent years the most cogent accounts, and critiques, of orthodox economics have been precisely pitched at the methodological level. In particular the uncritical acceptance of a deductivist method has been seen as an effective block on the development of a
Review of Industrial Organization – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 15, 2004
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