This book presents a theory of the firm based on its economic role as an intermediary between customers and suppliers. Professor Spulber demonstrates how the intermediation theory of the firm explains firm formation by showing how they arise in a market equilibrium. In addition, the theory helps explain how markets work by showing how firms select market-clearing prices. Models of intermediation and market microstructure from microeconomics and finance shed considerable light on the formation and market-making activities of firms. The intermediation theory of the firm is compared to existing economic theories of the firm including the neoclassical, industrial organization, transaction cost, and principal-agent models.
• Author is nationally recognized specialist in theoretical and applied industrial organizational studies, journal editor and author for MIT Press • Work presents a highly innovative approach to understanding firms and markets • This book presents very basic mathematical models. No special mathematical background is needed to follow the discussion
Preface and acknowledgements; Introduction; Part I. Market Microstructure and the Intermediation Theory of the Firm: 1. Market microstructure and intermediation; 2. Price setting and intermediation by firms 3. Competition Part II. Competition and Market Equilibrium: 3. Competition between intermediaries; 4. Intermediation and general equilibrium; Part III. Intermediation Versus Decentralized Trade: 5. Matching and intermediation by firms; 6. Search and intermediation by firms; Part IV. Intermediation under Asymmetric Information: 7. Adverse selection in product markets; 8. Adverse selection in financial markets; Part V. Intermediation and Transaction Costs: 9. Transaction costs and the contractual theory for the firm; 10. Transaction costs and the intermediation theory of the firm; Part VI. Intermediation and Agency: 11. Agency and the organizational-incentive theory of the firm; 12. Agency and the intermediation theory of the firm; Conclusion.