More on Coase

For those interested in more information on Ronald Coase, see this short essay (written by law professor Herbert Hovenkamp, who is not particularly sympathetic to the market economy).   While Coase was most known for the ideas relating to the Coase Theorem, his article “The Nature of the Firm,” written 25 years before, has also been extremely influential.  I had not known, however, that the latter piece had been ignored and was only re-discovered after the Coase Theorem was published.  As Hovenkamp writes:

“The Nature of the Firm” was virtually ignored for thirty years after its publication, with leading texts on industrial organization not even mentioning it (e.g., Bain, 1959). In 1942 the prominent economist and public intellectual Kenneth E. Boulding wrote an article discussing the leading literature on the theory of the firm over the preceding ten years, but did not cite Coase’s article (Boulding, 1942). It was finally re-discovered after “The Problem of Social Cost” was published in 1960 (Cheung, 1983).