Ronald Harry Coase


Ronald Harry Coase
(1910)


British-born American economist, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1991.
Coase received a bachelor of commerce degree from the London School of Economics in 1932 and a doctorate in economics from the same school in 1951. After lectureships in various schools, he taught at the London School of Economics (1935-51), the University of Buffalo (New York, U.S.; 1951-58), the University of Virginia, Charlottesville (1958-64), and the University of Chicago (from 1964), where he became professor of economics in the law school, taught at the Graduate School of Business, and was editor of the Journal of Law and Economics from 1964 to 1982.

Coase did pioneering work on the ways in which transaction costs and property rights affect business and society. In his most famous paper, "The Problem of Social Cost" (1960), he challenged the classic logic of prohibiting behaviour that damages others. His work was a call to legal scholars to pay attention to the importance of an efficient marketplace and to negotiation rather than litigation. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences cited Coase for this research and also for "pioneering the study of how property rights are distributed among individuals by law, contract, and regulations, showing that this determines how economic decisions are made and whether they will succeed."



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