Transaction cost theory: bibliometric and sociometric analysis of scientific literature from 1945 to 2018

Anderson Betti Frare, Vagner Horz, Carla Milena Gonçalves Fernandes, Débora Gomes de Gomes, Marcos Antonio de Souza


Objective: To analyze the characteristics of scientific publications about the Theory of Transaction Costs (TCT).

Methodology / approach: For selection of the analyzed portfolio, the Web of Science database and some criteria were used to refine the sample, resulting in 9,907 scientific articles. With a Bibliometric and Sociometric focus, the data were analyzed using the bibliometrix package in the R and RStudio software.

Originality / Relevance: There is a predominance of analyzes aimed at a single field of research and specific events or journals, samples composed of median quantities of publications, as well as limited time cuts in analysis or circumscribed geographic location. Thus, the study provides a global overview of the literature.

Results: There has been a marked increase in the number of publications, especially since 1990. The journal with the highest number of publications and the most referenced is the Strategic Management Journal. The authors with the greatest collaboration networks are Wang, Y., with 41 publications, and Zhang, Y., with 29. Among the most cited works and co-citation networks, the productions of Williamson and Coase stand out. The United States has the largest number of articles in partnership with other countries, which signals the importance of other countries, in particular, Brazil, seeking scientific partnerships. Regarding keywords, there is an emphasis in costs, market, competitive advantage, and performance when linked to transaction costs.

Theoretical / methodological contributions: The research contributes by providing a broad view of the state of the art in scientific knowledge and pointing out future perspectives of publications on TCT.


Transaction costs theory; Transaction costs; Scientific publications; Bibliometrix package.


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