The Theory of the Firm and the Theory of the International Economic Organization: Toward Comparative Institutional Analysis

Trachtman, Joel P. | January 1, 1997

Debates regarding the competences and governance of interna- tional economic organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the European Union (EU) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFFA) seem to grow more polarized. Academic lawyers, political scientists and economists seem to add little light to these heated debates. The purpose of this paper is to examine the theory of the firm and related transaction cost-based literatures of new institutional economics (NIE),4 law and economics (L&E) and industrial organizations (IO),’ and the application of their analytical techniques to the linked problems of competence and governance of international economic organizations (IEOs).