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Using simple neural networks to analyse firm activity

By M. Dietrich

Abstract

Characteristically, in economics, the analysis of firm activity is based on a production function that defines a deterministic relationship between factor inputs and firm output. The analysis of the firm as an organisation takes a somewhat different approach. For instance, behavioural economics (for example Simon, 1955; March and Simon, 1958; Cyert and March, 1963), transaction cost theory (Williamson, 1975, 1985) and capabilities approaches (for example Foss and Loasby, 1998; Foss, 2005) emphasise that economic agents have inevitably incomplete information and knowledge and are at most boundedly or limitedly rational. The implication here is that while general principles governing intra-firm interaction can be specified, detailed organisational processes inside the firm are, for practical academic purposes, effectively unobservable. Hence, the usual analytical tools designed to analyse firm behaviour, based on production functions and optimising principles with full information, are in practice an oversimplification of firm activity (Loasby, 1999)

Publisher: Department of Economics, University of Sheffield
Year: 2005
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:9924

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