The capitalist and the entrepreneur : essays on by Peter G Klein; Ludwig Von Mises Institute

By Peter G Klein; Ludwig Von Mises Institute

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A related issue that has received considerable attention, however, is the difficulty of allocating overhead or fixed cost across divisions. 15 Firms with high overhead costs should thus be at a disadvantage relative to firms able to allocate costs more precisely between business units. Indeed, in the literature on cost accounting there has been some recent interest in “market simulation accounting” (Staubus, 1986), by which firms try to assess the price at which an asset would trade in an active market, based on observed market prices and related information.

To compute divisional profits and losses, the firm needs an economically meaningful transfer price for all internally transferred goods and services. If there is an external market for the component, the firm can use that market 34      price as the transfer price. Without a market price, however, the transfer price must be estimated, either on a cost-plus basis or by bargaining between the buying and selling divisions (Gabor, 1984; Eccles and White, 1988; King, 1994).

E business of the entrepreneur is not merely to experiment with new technological methods, but to select from the multitude of technologically feasible methods those which are best fit to supply the public in the cheapest way with the things they are asking for most urgently” (Mises, 1951, p. 110). To make this selection, the entrepreneur must be able to weigh the costs and expected benefits of various courses of action. As discussed in the previous chapter, the need for economic calculation places ultimate limits on the size of the organization.

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