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The Firm, the Market, and the Law

4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·  rating details  ·  100 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Few other economists have been read and cited as often as R.H. Coase has been, even though, as he admits, "most economists have a different way of looking at economic problems and do not share my conception of the nature of our subject." Coase's particular interest has been that part of economic theory that deals with firms, industries, and markets—what is known as price t ...more
Paperback, 226 pages
Published February 15th 1990 by University of Chicago Press (first published July 1988)
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Dr. Ronald Coase was one of the most influential economists of the past century. One of the seven essays collected here, "The Problem of Social Cost" is the most cited law review article ever, and a few of the other essays are almost that renowned.

It is far beyond the scope of my ability to bound the limits of Dr. Coase's influence, but I can give a brief summary of the contents of this volume. The two of the most important essays are the aforementioned "Problem of Social Cost", which considers
This is the classic collection of Coase's critical papers. He was one of the first to talk about "transaction costs" in economics and this volume has his key papers, which won him the Nobel Prize in the 1990s. They are dense, but accessible with little or no math/calculus. There are some cool ideas, but it took the Econ profession 50+ years to appreciate him fully so be prepared to think a bit. A short collection, but a slog! Not for the timid.
Ross Emmett
Feb 16, 2011 Ross Emmett rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in economics and/or the governance of firms, extermalities or social costs
Every essay is a gem. I use this as the core text in MC 241: Politics and Markets, which is an introduction to political economy or what I might prefer to call economic governance.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 12, 2013 B rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own, westend
Another book where I understood enough to know that it was interesting and meaningful but probably did not get all of it. It seems like a lot of Coase's analysis could go both ways on the question that really interests him: when should the government "intervene" in "market" transactions. Coase generally thinks that the answer is never or a lot less than what he perceives as the dominant economic thinking stemming from Pigou would have you believe.

More important than his prior/conclusion, though
Max Lybbert
Classic economic papers. "The Nature of the Firm" attempts to explain why people form companies. This is interesting to me because the benefits of a firm largely come from reducing certain costs, and technology has reduced some (but not all) of those costs. It's possible to make predictions about the size of firms as those costs continue to drop, and it's interesting to see those predictions come true.
Andrew Gillette
This is a classic of economic theory. Coase won the Nobel prize for it. To distill it down, its walmart economics--firms will choose to acquire facets of their business process (for example a retailer may buy a shipper), or they will compete with the shipper on either price or anti-trust.

This is a free-market economics classic.
If you're into economics, this book is a must read at some point. It includes Ronald Coase's two most famous papers: "The Nature of the Firm" and "The Problem of Social Cost". It also includes additional commentary about what he says in them, and some other papers, such as "The Lighthouse in Economics".
Really heavy grit...almost want to call it a textbook but can't bring myself to do so out of fear that someone might choose not to read on that basis. Oops...I think the cat just got out of the bag.
Ezra Hood
this is a set of articles that made transactions costs an axiom in microeconomics.
Craig J.
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Ronald H. Coase passed away on September 2, 2013, at the age of 102.

At the time of his death, Professor Coase was the Clifton R. Musser Professor Emeritus of Economics at The University of Chicago Law School.

Ronald H. Coase’s 1937 paper “The Nature of the Firm” was to establish the field of transaction cost economics. “The Problem of Social Cost,” published in 1961, sets out what is now known as t
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