Economics of International Business sets out a new agenda for international business research. Mark Casson asserts that it is time to move the subject on from sterile debates about transaction cost economies and resource-based theories of the firm. Instead of focusing on the individual firm, the new agenda focuses on the global systems view of international business. A static view of the firm’s environment is replaced by a dynamic view which highlights the volatility of the international business environment. Coping with volatility requires entrepreneurial skills, flexibility and the need to synthesize information on a global basis. To co-ordinate the global system properly, entrepreneurs must co-operate through social networks of trust, as well as competing. Constructing a network of joint ventures, it is argued, is simply not enough.
Building on his previous book, The Organization of International Business, Mark Casson shows that with suitable modifications, the methods of economics can be used to analyse all of these issues in a rigorous way. The tools of ‘business strategy’ are too clumsy to address the more subtle issues, whilst descriptive approaches fail to bring key issues into sharp relief. This book is indispensable reading for all researchers and practitioners in the international business field as well as economists and academics alike.