Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Firm, the Market, and the Law” as Want to Read:
The Firm, the Market, and the Law
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Firm, the Market, and the Law

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  254 ratings  ·  16 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Firm, the Market, and the Law, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Firm, the Market, and the Law

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  254 ratings  ·  16 reviews

Sort order
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
Jared Tobin
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As I continue to re-evaluate my take on the economics of the 20th century, Coase's work stands out as well as or better than it ever did. Ronald Coase is probably my favourite economist of all time; his work is arguably as foundational as e.g. Smith's or Ricardo's and was developed over just a handful of influential and easily-digestible papers. The Firm, the Market, and the Law is more or less a summary of Coase's most important work, containing his famous The Nature of the Firm and The Problem ...more
Apr 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Ian Anderson
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a stand-in for Coase's "The Nature of the Firm" which is not on Goodreads at present.
Jun 20, 2009 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
review #1: makes me think of mental transaction costs with respect to... jesus... interest, functionality, fluidity, livability... might want to, have to newton's method this review, but it's good to be reasonably easygoing not too ocd, right? ... not such a hard-bargaining guy, nickels and dimes, significant figures, efficiency (optimization, purity, freedom and grace) ... hmm, pixels/notes, making something good and pretty and true is good and pretty and fun/delightful - approaching perfection ...more
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
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".
Andrew Gillette
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Purple Wimple
Jun 30, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: law-school
this is a set of articles that made transactions costs an axiom in microeconomics.
Sep 20, 2014 marked it as to-read
Shelves: economics
Apr 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
rated it liked it
May 21, 2017
Crist Alf
rated it it was amazing
Aug 12, 2015
Nathan P. Goodman
rated it it was amazing
Dec 21, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Apr 28, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Oct 19, 2016
rated it really liked it
Aug 26, 2016
David Benbow
rated it it was ok
Jun 17, 2015
rated it really liked it
Feb 23, 2014
Aaron Taylor
rated it it was amazing
Apr 16, 2018
Mark Koyama
rated it it was amazing
Jul 07, 2015
rated it liked it
Feb 26, 2015
rated it really liked it
Jul 01, 2013
rated it liked it
Oct 17, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Dec 21, 2015
rated it really liked it
Jan 14, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Economic Analysis of Law
  • The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy
  • Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance
  • Essays in Positive Economics
  • The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce
  • The Enlightened Economy: An Economic History of Britain 1700-1850
  • Globalizing Capital: A History of the International Monetary System
  • Mathematics for Economists
  • The Enterprise of Law: Justice Without the State
  • Law's Order: What Economics Has to Do with Law and Why It Matters
  • Business Research Methods
  • Economic Sophisms
  • Global Shift: Mapping the Changing Contours of the World Economy
  • Microeconomics
  • The Clash of Economic Ideas
  • The Failure of the New Economics
  • The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups
  • Microeconomic Analysis
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