Abstract

In this study, we investigate the emergence of new transactions. Whereas transaction cost economics (TCE) takes transactions as given—focusing on questions of governance—in this study we investigate how the emergence of new transactions might be explained. A transaction consists of three elements: the creating entity (social actors as transaction instigators), others (social actors as transaction participants), and a work (the domain specific undertaking that is the focus of exchange). Using general specifications of TCE, we investigate the extent to which bounded rationality (BR), opportunism (O), and specificity (S)—three attributes of transacting that have been asserted to cause transaction costs—affect the emergence of new transactions. Our hypothesis is that where the effects of BR-O-S are high, transactions are less likely to emerge.

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