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Transaction Costs, the Phenomenon of the Trading House and Economic Organization

Transaction Costs, the Phenomenon of the Trading House and Economic Organization

Journal of Institutional studies, , Vol. 7 (no. 4),

The present paper contains a study of the phenomenon of company’s specific internal divisions called “trading house”. The analysis of different approaches (based on results obtained by R. Coase and O. Williamson) towards the problem of impact of transaction cost on company size leads to the following conclusion: the company size mostly depends on its institutional architecture which includes specific divisions that ensure outsourcing of intergroup transaction cost. I propose to call these divisions centers of transaction cost. I suppose that the wide popularity of trading houses among companies belonging to different branches can be explained by the fact that a trading house is mostly used not as selling and purchasing division, but as a center of transaction cost that concentrates the biggest transaction cost (by its share within company’s general expenses). This reasoning leads to possibility of existence of a set of methodological principles that allow to build up an a priori model of expanding company. The process of expansion represents a series of inclusion of centers of transactions cost by the company after institutional advantages of an earlier institutional architecture disappear. This methodology allows to set up a classification between a classical company as a structure with low level of integration and frozen institutional architecture and an economic organization that represents an explicitly constructed composition including centers of transaction cost that help to extend the transformational space of an expanding company.


Keywords: transaction costs; firm; institutional architecture; transformational benefits; economic organization

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