Happy 99th Birthday Prof. Ronald Coase

Today (Dec 29th, 2009) is Prof. Ronald Coase‘s 99th birthday. I like to wish him a happy birthday and good health. I’ve added time codes and brief notes to his 2003 Coase Lecture (in 6 parts). Enjoy.

(note: This is a followup to an earlier entry.)

Part 1

Time Codes added to the Youtube info

0:30 Coase Lecture,
1:21 Law and Economics,
1:40 Mr. Toad The Wind in the Willows,
2:14 First year students,
2:40 What Coase did as a young student,
3:14 The events that lead to the emergence of the subject known as Law and Economics,
3:36 Professor of Economics and not a Professor of Law and Economics,
3:47 knowledge of law as an undergraduate,
4:32 following the precedence,
4:44 The Law Courts,
5:03 American cases

Part 2

Time codes

0:00 Theory of international trade. (Never thought I would laugh so hard!)
1:24 More likely to become a lawyer than an economist in university. Study of industrial law.
2:25 Go to US to study why industries are organized in different ways.
3:28 Plant was opposed to government’s schemes of coordinating production.
4:00 Benefited from taking a B.Comm degree rather than an economics degree. Visited factories and businesses in America and talk to businessmen.
4:45 By the summer of 1932, Coase got the answers to his questions. Firms vs market transactions. Transaction costs.
5:43 The explicit introduction of the concept of transaction costs
6:00 Return from America to UK. Appointed assistant lecturer.
6:15 Content of first lecture. The argument of “The Nature of the Firm”.
7:02 In 1934, completed first draft of “The Nature of the Firm”. Published in 1937.
7:20 How the paper was received by Coase’s elders was “extremely instructive”. And how this should be a lesson.
8:15 The only support Coase got was from his contemporary. “… new ideas are most likely to come from the young who are also the group who are most likely to recognize the significance of those ideas.”
9:00 The problem of social cost.

Part 3

Time Codes

0:00 British Broadcasting: A Study in Monopoly (1950)
0:18 Visited US in 1948 to find how a commercial broadcasting station operated. Migrated to US in 1951. And later wrote the famous FCC paper which lead to the modern subject of law and economics.
1:00 About that student note in University of Chicago Law Review. Coase clarified the misconception of who actually originated the idea of using price to determine the use of frequency spectrum. Idea of FCC should lease a frequency channel to the highest bidder.
2:26 The weak reply from FCC that convinced Coase the merit of using price to determine the use of frequency spectrum.
4:06 Wrote the article on FCC in 1958 & 1959.
4:50 Talk about Pigou and a few examples.
7:42 The way resources are used are independent of the legal decision of ownership.

Part 4

Time Codes

0:00 To cover cost and to maximize profit are essentially two ways of expressing the same thing.
0:45 Discussion of Chicago economists’ objections of Coase’s FCC idea.
2:19 The famous 2 hour long meeting of the minds of Coase at Aaron Director’s home with Milton Friedman, George Stigler, and others.
4:19 Coase correcting Stigler’s account of the discussion at Director’s home.
5:00 The Problem of Social Cost.
6:28 Talking about “Coase Theorem” (or more precisely, Stigler’s “Coase Theorem”).

Part 5

Time Codes

0:00 Discussing the cave example. Coase’s humour.
1:37 Concluding comments on Law and Economics.

Part 6 Q&A

Time Codes

0:30 Q1&A Can the highly mathematical approach of modern economics incorporate ideas and methodologies that re so different from it?

2:10 Q2 (part 1) The first year law students might find it disheartening to discover the wrongfulness means that which reduces transaction cost. Before they encountered law and economics they didn’t think that the purpose of law is just about allocating resources most efficiently. Q2 (part 2) &A Do you think that since you introduced these ideas there has been a growing acceptance or resistance to that notion of wrongfulness and what do you see in the future?

4:02 Q3 (part 1) In a lot of the behaviour empirical work done in economics, the people who are studying things use the answers people give on surveys to try and reveal how people are not rational actors. Q3 (part 2) &A Do you believe that the answers on the surveys are a good source of empirical data or do you think you need to go to competitive markets to really see true prices?

2 Responses to Happy 99th Birthday Prof. Ronald Coase

  1. […] I’ve added time codes and brief notes to his 2003 Coase Lecture (in 6 parts). Enjoy. […]

  2. […] you want more of Prof. Coase, you can watch this insightful 2003 Coase Lecture (with time code). Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Professor Steven N S Cheung on Ronald CoaseA […]

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