RIP Ronald Coase

Extremely sad news that Ronald Coase passed on today.  His work on economics had a profound impact upon the discipline, and significantly added to the way economists think about the allocation of scarce resources – so economics itself.  There are few people who have had this sort of impact.  While I was going to write a couple of things about his work, I found that A Fine Theorem covered this off a much more satisfactory way than I could:

Sad news today that Ronald Coase has passed away; he was still working, often on the Chinese economy, at the incredible age of 102. Coase is best known to economists for two statements: that transaction costs explain many puzzles in the organization of society, and that pricing for durable goods presents a particular worry since even a monopolist selling a durable good needs to “compete” with its future and past selves. Both of these statements are horribly, horribly misunderstood, particularly the first.

I would suggest reading the whole post.  These are two ideas that were an important part of my economics study, however there were links to the literature in there that I had not seen before and that helped breath further life into these ideas for me.

Paul Walker also pays his respects here.  While for some story telling about interpreting the Coase theorem this McCloskey piece is golden.