the principal-agent problem: what it is, why it’s important, and how it can be solved

The principal-agent problem is a common problem that arises whenever there is a contractual relationship between two parties - the principal, who in accordance with agreed upon terms, assigns a task to an agent, who then executes the task for the principal. It is expected that the agent will work on the behalf of the principal. Likewise, … Continue reading the principal-agent problem: what it is, why it’s important, and how it can be solved

what value chains are and how they can optimize economic efficiency

First introduced in 1985 by Michael Porter, the value chain concept is understood as the process by which value is added to raw materials via various production processes in order to generate a final product that can be sold for a higher price. The main components of value chains are inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistic, marketing … Continue reading what value chains are and how they can optimize economic efficiency

institutions: what they are, why we need them and how they shape our everyday lives

It is a common practice in the United States to sing Happy Birthday to a person when they survive another year on this planet. However, in China, birthday celebrations commonly take the form of elaborate banquets and are reserved for the very young or very old. Despite being obviously divergent practices, they are both considered … Continue reading institutions: what they are, why we need them and how they shape our everyday lives

business clusters: what they are and why they provide a competitive advantage

Have you ever wondered why Wall Street is known for finance or why the California wine industry has been so successful in integrating itself into the global market? In a word: clusters. Clusters are concentrations of complementary organizations, institutions and companies that are components of a given field in a specific geographic location. These conglomerations … Continue reading business clusters: what they are and why they provide a competitive advantage

cooperatives

The world we live in is quite complicated.  Being alone in this crazy, mixed-up reality can make this truth quite scary.  However,  even in the big, bad take-no-prisoners universe of globalized economics, there are tools that can be used to help improve one's chances of successful navigation through these choppy waters. One of the most … Continue reading cooperatives