This 1993 book discusses the rise of the marginalist conception of the firm in the context of economic thought over the past two centuries, and explains why economists continue to defend a theory with demonstrable shortcomings. Professor Schrader argues that the marginalist view of the firm retains its support not through any comparative advantage in empirical or predictive power, but by virtue of its being a part of the predominant marginalist economic programme. The clear problems that beset the marginalist approach to the firm signal a general dilemma for economic theory as a whole.
Preface; Introduction; 1. The hidden change in economic theory; 2. Four views of scientific change; 3. A glance at the history of economic theory; 4. Agreement and disagreement within the tradition; 5. Theories of the firm; 6. Confusions and problems with the marginalist view; 7. The shape of the large managerial corporation; 8. The theoretical impact of a better theory of the firm; Notes; Bibliography; Index.