Ronald H. Coase


Ronald H. Coase

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Ronald H. Coase
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1991

Born: 29 December 1910, Willesden, United Kingdom

Died: 2 September 2013, Chicago, IL, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

Prize motivation: “for his discovery and clarification of the significance of transaction costs and property rights for the institutional structure and functioning of the economy”

Prize share: 1/1


Ronald Coase was born in a suburb of London, UK. He attended the London School of Economics, receiving a bachelor of commerce degree in 1932, and then earned a D.Sc. in economics from the University of London in 1951. He was employed at various universities in the UK and the US. He was editor of the Journal of Law and Economics 1964-82. In 1937, he married Marion Ruth Hartung.


Ronald Coase’s writings were sparse, yet his impact on economics was profound. He did pioneering work on the ways in which transaction costs and property rights affect business and society. In his most influential paper, The Problem of the Social Cost (1960), he developed what later became known as the Coase theorem. His work was a call to legal scholars to consider the process of bargaining about rights outside the context of litigation.

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