Working Papers

Improving Egypt's Economic Performance: The Extent of the Market is Limited by the Costs of Exchange

Publication Number: ECESWP13-E

June, 1997

Author : Lee Benham

Type : Working Papers

This paper focuses on the costs and constraints faced by individuals entering into exchange in a given society. It suggests that we estimate directly the costs which incurred in exchanging particular goods and services. The basic economic concept of opportunity cost is central: what do individuals have to give up in total resources, including money, time and goods, to execute a transaction successfully? The objective in this paper is not to provide precise estimates of these costs but simply to illustrate how they could be calculated. The initial approach involves estimating the costs incurred by an individual without personal connections who wants to execute some transaction in a specified sector of the economy.