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Research Institute for Trade and Transaction Management

Research Institute for Trade and Transaction Management

The Research Institute for Trade and Transaction Management (RITM) combines academic scientific research and commissioned research projects based on transaction cost economics. All projects have practical relevance for a transaction economy like that of the Netherlands. RITM is a research initiative of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Transaction management, i.e. the skill to keep transaction costs low and to create value in transactions, is the focus of the research of RITM.

 'Transaction management creates value in the global economy'

The painting the 'Syndics' (Staalmeesters) by Rembrandt symbolizes that already in the 17th century the Dutch traders realized the importance of good transaction management and keeping transaction costs low. The syndics controlled and categorized the quality of 'laken', a fine woolen fabricate, so that it was unnecessary for traders to control for quality every time before a transaction was to be made. This effectively reduced the transaction costs. Moreover, the quality standards set by the syndics were trusted because they were, in a way, the forerunners of the famous Dutch polder model of consultation, in which the members had different religious backgrounds. A painting protraying these distinguished gentlemen helped to establish trust back in the day. Trust can be seen as a major device in transaction management.