An Obituary: Ronald Coase (1910-2013)


16 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2014

See all articles by Alain Marciano

Alain Marciano

Université de Montpellier; Université Montpellier I - Montpellier Recherche en Economie (Montpellier Research in Economics) MRE

Date Written: December 19, 2013


Born on December 29 1910 at Willesden (in a suburb northwest of London, UK), Ronald Harry Coase died on September 2, 2013 in Chicago (USA). He had lived a long 102 years, of which almost 50 spent in the USA, where he had migrated in the early 1950s and of which 80 were devoted to the understanding of the functioning of the economy. This is what Coase was interested in -- the virtues of a strong and rigorous, even if simple, economic reasoning for all the insights it could provide about the organization of the society and the functioning of the economy, rather than in developing sophisticated mathematical models that provide little insights as how to "real world" works. This is what this obituary shows: Coase was a political economist, and one of the most important of the 20th century.

Keywords: Coase, Coase theorem, Transaction Costs, Problem of Social Cost, Law and Economics, Economic Analysis of Law, History of Economic Thought, History of Political Economy

JEL Classification: B25, B32, B52, B41

Suggested Citation

Marciano, Alain, An Obituary: Ronald Coase (1910-2013) (December 19, 2013). HISTORY OF ECONOMIC IDEAS, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Alain Marciano (Contact Author)

Université de Montpellier ( email )

Avenue Raymond Dugrand, CS 79606
Montpellier Cedex 1, F-34000

Université Montpellier I - Montpellier Recherche en Economie (Montpellier Research in Economics) MRE ( email )


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