Mais sobre o Nobel da Economia (4)

Peter Klein sobre Oliver Williamson (Organisations & Markets)

Briefly, my own (admittedly biased) take is that Williamson is second only to Coase as the key figure in modern organizational economics. Moreover, his work has revolutionized the way economists (and some antitrust lawyers) understand markets. The perfectly competitive general-equilibrium model, Williamson’s work shows, is unrealistic, irrelevant, and a distraction. The task of economists studying firms and markets is to understand the marvelous variety of organizational forms that emerge in competitive markets, virtually none resembling the “firm” of microeconomics textbooks (what Williamson calls the production-function picture of the firm). “Nonstandard” phenomena like vertical integration, vertical contractual restrictions, alliances and joint ventures, long-term supply or distribution agreements, and the like should be celebrated, not condemned. (Williamson is more circumspect, arguing that each form of organization should be evaluated on the merits, case by case — a refreshing contrast to the standard approach in antitrust law, which is to assume that every deviation from perfect competition is “anticompetitive.”)

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