Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Economics of Organization

Major Advisor

Richard Langlois

Associate Advisor

Thomas Miceli

Associate Advisor

Metin Cosgel

Associate Advisor

Whit Tabor

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Organizational economics asks the question why are some transactions located in one firm, while in other cases they are located across firms. The classic answer is that market and firms are substitutes, and the boundary between these organizing features depends on transaction costs. The costs of accessing and using the price mechanism can lead to cheaper economic organization with internal governance. But avenues remain to explore through extensions to the theory, novel applications, and empirical work. While transaction cost economics challenged the Marshallian firm as a black box, the market continued to remain a black box itself. Thus chapter one homes in on this piece by exploring the dynamics of the market and firm interaction through corroborating the Vanishing Hand hypothesis. Next, in chapter two, I apply the theory beyond the firm to analyze the organizational archetypes of states and how their temporal boundaries depend on a flavor of transaction costs. Finally, chapter three attempts to empirically validate theories of the firm by proxying for transaction costs with merger and acquisition data.