448out08s - Economics 448 Organizations and Contracts...

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Economics 448 Organizations and Contracts Spring 2008 Tomas Nonnenmacher 213 Quigley Hall Office: 332-3820 Office Hours: MW: 11:00-11:30, 3:45-4:45; T: 2:00-5:00. Course Overview: In 1991, Ronald Coase won the Nobel Prize in Economics for creating the field of transaction cost economics. A sub-field of transaction cost economics studies the theory of the firm. Some important questions that Coase and his many followers have asked are: Why do firms exist? What determines their scale and scope? What are the consequences of the separation of ownership from management? By the end of this course, students will be able to provide some answers to these questions with models of economic organization that go beyond the black-box conception of a production function. We will begin with the classical economists' view of the firm. This will be followed by an overview of more "modern" theories of the firm in the transaction cost economics framework. Finally, we will analyze some case studies of particular firms and industries. Texts: Louis Putterman and Randall Kroszner (1996) The Economic Nature of the Firm , Cambridge University Press. A reading packet available at the bookstore in March. Grading: Class Presentation & Paper: 20% Article Responses: 10% 3 Exams: 60% Class Participation 10% It is important that you read the articles before class. In order to encourage students to do this, I will
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448out08s - Economics 448 Organizations and Contracts...

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