The Paradox of Coase as a Defender of Free Markets
21 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2011
Date Written: July 20, 2011
Mention "free market advocate" or "defender of private property rights" and the name Ronald Coase is certain to be included in the top ten list of virtually all cognoscenti of such matters. Nor can it be denied that there are numerous good and sufficient reasons for this assessment. Nevertheless, it is the contention of the present paper that this characterization is unjustified with respect to his most famous publication on social costs. Here, in sharp contrast to most of his other work, we argue that Coase is better interpreted in the very opposite manner: as an intellectual enemy of free enterprise and capitalism.
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