Ronald Coase's 'Nature of the Firm' and the Argument for Economic Planning
Journal of the History of Economic Thought 36(3): 305-329
McQuinn Center Working Paper 2013-4
Mises Working Paper Series #0001/14
43 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2013 Last revised: 12 Apr 2019
Date Written: September 16, 2013
Ronald Coase was in his early 20’s when he developed his groundbreaking theory of the firm. This theory represented a new approach with no obvious precursors, but where did it arise from? This article traces the origins of Coase’s theory of the firm and provides a context for its formation. I argue that Coase’s arguments were rooted in the exchange of ideas in the socialist calculation debate, and that in this context one could read the theory of the firm as an argument in defense of economic planning.
Keywords: theory of the firm, transaction costs, R H Coase
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