Coasian and Modern Property Rights Economics: A Case of Kuhnian Lost Content
25 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2014
Date Written: January 25, 2014
Among the many seminal contributions of Ronald Coase, founding property rights economics is a truly major one. This approach impacted a number if fields in economics in particularly the 1960s and 1970s, but gradually lost influence. What is called property rights economics in modern economics, mainly originated by Oliver Hart, is very different from the original property rights economics of Coase, Demsetz, Alchian, Cheung, Umbeck, Barzel, etc. in terms of analytical style and explanatory scope. Based on our earlier work on the subject (Foss and Foss, 2001), we argue that the change from Mark I to Mark II property rights economics led to Kuhnian loss of content. This is related to the strong assumptions concerning the definition and enforcement of ownership rights made in the latter approach which leads to many real life institutions and governance arrangements being excluded from consideration.
Keywords: Ronald Coase, ownership, property rights, institutional analysis
JEL Classification: D23, D80, L22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation