In The Nature of the Firm, Ronald Coase argued that private firms arise because of market transaction costs. His theory yielded predictions about the scope of firms and their internal design. What power, if any, do these insights have for understanding administrative agencies? After all, social scientists have long conceived of political actors as engaged in market-like transactions. The lack of profit-maximization and price signals, however, has also drawn skepticism about the parallels. These questions will be explored amidst contemporary debates about the administrative state.
Lunch will be provided.