Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello

Coase, Ronald

  • Herbert HovenkampEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_28


Ronald Coase (1910-2013) was a British born and trained economist who moved to the United States in 1951. He spent most of his career at the University of Chicago. Coase's principal contributions addressed the fact that moving resources through the economy by means of transactions is costly -- an idea that he introduced in The Nature of the Firm (1937) and developed further in The Problem of Social Cost (1960). Over his career Coase argued in numerous papers that if transaction costs are modest, private bargaining is often better than legislation or taxation as devices for settling resource conflicts. His work was highly influential in the development of movements away from regulation and back to more market-centric devices for managing the private economy. Coase won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1991.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The College of LawThe University of IowaIowa CityUSA