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The Political Economy of PipelinesA Century of Comparative Institutional Development$
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Jeff D. Makholm

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226502106

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226502120.001.0001

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The New Institutional Economics and Pipeline Transport

The New Institutional Economics and Pipeline Transport

(p.1) Chapter One The New Institutional Economics and Pipeline Transport
The Political Economy of Pipelines
University of Chicago Press

This book explores how and why competition arose in the pipeline transport industry, specifically addressing transaction costs and asset specificity, institutional evolution, intangible property rights, and collective action. Pipelines showed great asset specificity. Douglass North determined the creation of institutions to define and ensure property rights as the basis for new forms of financing and trade. Pipeline systems were uniquely suited to the creation of the bundles of legal entitlements that form the basis of Coasian bargaining. Throughout this book, pipelines illustrate an interdisciplinary approach to economic theory. The analysis turns to the oil pipeline system in the United States or gas pipeline systems in various countries to demonstrate the cause and effect of varied institutional environments. This chapter provides an overview of the chapters that follow.

Keywords:   pipeline transport industry, transaction costs, asset specificity, institutional evolution, intangible property rights, collective action, Douglass North, oil pipeline system, United States, gas pipeline systems

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