In my long life I have known some great economists but I have never counted myself among their number nor walked in their company. I have made no innovations in high theory. My contribution to economics has been to urge the inclusion in our analysis of features of the economic system so obvious that, like the postman in G. Nonetheless, once included in the analysis, they will, as I believe, bring about a complete change in the structure of economic theory, at least in what is called price theory or microeconomics. What I have done is to show the importance for the working of the economic system of what may be termed the institutional structure of production. In this lecture I shall explain why, in my view, these features of the economic system were ignored and why their recognition will lead to a change in the way we analyse the working of the economic system and in the way we think about economic policy, changes which are already beginning to occur.
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This is a story about the history of economics, mischief-making, and, ultimately, political power. It concerns the economist Ronald Coase, who died on Monday at the grand old age of a hundred and two. In , the Swedes awarded him a Nobel Prize in Economics , just one of many honors he received. Which is all pretty ironic, or tragic, depending on how you look at things. As a conservatively inclined economist, Coase was instinctively skeptical of government regulations, but he was also an English empiricist who recognized that reality is complicated. In their hands, his subtle reasoning was bowdlerized and distorted. The standard solutions for these types of pollution were to encourage the people affected to hold the polluter liable in court, or to impose a tax on the activity that would discourage it.
How do economists decide what questions to address and how to choose their theories? How do they tackle the problems of the economic system and give advice on public policy? With these broad questions, Nobel laureate R.
The Nature of the Firm. Translated by Tamara Todorova. An Interview with Ronald Coase. Una entrevista amb Ronald Coase. Catalunya Global 03, translated by Eva Querol.