Economics of the Firm and Economic Growth. An hybrid theoretical framework of analysis
Sandra Tavares Silva
Aurora Amelia Castro Teixeira
Mário Rui Silva
The characterization of individual firms is an essential step toward the study of the behaviour of industries and other more aggregated units of economics, and so to the analysis of economic growth processes. Hence, the main goal of this study is to achieve a critical discussion around the conceptualisation of the firm and its role in the dynamical process of economic growth. The approach to the main topic starts with the construction of a theoretical matrix of the economics of the firm, opening with the two major traditions of institutionalist thought in economics, and evolving then towards some considerations around the contractual and the evolutionary approaches. Another important theoretical stream that deals with organizations in economic and sociological terms also appears, the population ecology approach. After this overview, it is developed a cross-exam of distinct theoretical perspectives and the identification of possible flaws of the neoclassical theory. This confrontation, which goes throughout many imperative and controversial issues within economics such as the nature of the firm and the cognitive capacities of economic agents, results in a systematisation about the impact of this discussion on economic growth. The conclusions appear as crucial to develop further research aiming the construction of economic growth models based on a microeconomics that is closer to the reality of firms.
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