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The Firm, The Market, and the Law

Ronald Harry Coase

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press, 1988 , 217 pages

ISBN: 978-0-226-11101-8


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Few other economists have been read and cited 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 theory or microeconomics. He has always urged his fellow economists to examine the foundations on which their theory exists, and this volume collects some of his classic articles probing those very foundations. "The Nature of the Firm" (1937) introduced the then revolutionary concept of transaction costs into economic theory. "The Problem of Social Cost" (1960) further developed this concept, emphasizing the effect of the law on the working of the economic system. The remaining papers and new introductory essay clarify and extend Coase's arguments and addresses his critics.

Many economists today approach economics as technicians. Coase approaches it as a philosopher. He thinks and writes in a deep and contemplative way, and his work is rooted in a careful and deliberate scrutiny of real conditions and a thinking through of their consequences. This collection will be of interest to economists, to legal scholars, and to other social scientists.

Table of Contents:

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  1. The Firm, The Market, and the Law
  2. The Nature of the Firm
  3. Industrial Organization: A Proposal for Research
  4. The Marginal Cost Controversy
  5. The Problems of Social Cost
  6. Notes on the Problem of Social Cost
  7. The Lighthouse in Economics


The Firm, The Market, and the Law

by Roland Buresund last modified 2016-03-21 01:22

Rating: ****** (Decent)

This is one of those books that you need to have read, by one of the most famous Nobel Laureates (my opinion of course). It may feel a bit stiff, but the contents are worth it.

Should be standard reading for any business graduate, according to me.

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