CBC News, “Richard Thaler wins Nobel Prize in economics”
CBC News, “Richard Thaler wins Nobel Prize in economics”
I’m deeply saddened of the passing of Professor Ronald Coase . Quoting The Telegraph (emphasis & link added), “Professor Ronald Coase, who has died aged 102, won the 1991 Nobel Prize in Economics by injecting a note of reality into the world of market theories; in a 60-year career he wrote only about a dozen significant papers and used little or no mathematics, yet his impact on his discipline was profound.” The Verge is not too far off the truth when using the title, “Ronald Coase, the ‘father’ of the spectrum auction, dies at 102” as you can watch Coase explained how he first read the key idea from a student note and then adopt the idea of using prices to determine radio frequency spectrum use in this video clip.
Earlier this afternoon, in an exclusive video interview with Prof. Ning Wang, co-author of Prof. Coase’s last book “How China Became Capitalist” (published 2012), Wang talked about visiting Coase last week, working with Coase from 2008-2012 on “How China Became Capitalist“, Coase’s love of China, and more.
On a personal note, while I’ve never met Prof. Coase in person, I was lucky to be exposed to Coase’s insightful economic ideas since the mid 1980s, including those ideas in “The Lighthouse in Economics” via Prof. Steven Cheung‘s Chinese articles and Coase’s original English articles. For Coase’s 99th birthday in 2009, I spent many hours converting the 2003 Coase Lecture into a 6 parts YouTube with annotated time codes in the video description allowing easy access to specific sections.
I love the following quotes by Coase,
“You don’t know what you can learn until you try to learn.”– from a 2010 interview when he was 100 years old.
“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.” – from his 2003 lecture.
Goodbye Prof. Coase.
* Ronald H. Coase, Founding Scholar in Law and Economics, 1910-2013, University of Chicago
* Ronald Coase, 1910-2013, The Ronald Coase Institute
* Ronald Coase, Nobelist Who Studied Corporations, Dies at 102. Bloomberg
* Ronald Coase Was The Greatest Of The Many Great University Of Chicago Economists, Forbes
* Remembering Ronald Coase, Harvard Business Review
* “The Man Who Resisted ‘Blackboard Economics’ – Nobel laureate Ronald Coase taught that economists should study real markets“, WSJ
* “Ronald H. Coase, retired U. of C. professor won Nobel Prize, 1910-2013“, Chicago Tribute
* “RONALD COASE AND THE MISUSE OF ECONOMICS“, New Yorker
Sept 16th update:
* “Ronald Coase, a Pragmatic Voice for Government’s Role“, New York Times
P.S. 1: In the coming days, I will try to update and add more contents to this article. Last update: Sept 4th, 2013
P.S. 2: In case you wonder what is “Coase Theorem”? Here is an excerpt from a 1997 Reason magazine interview with Coase.
“Reason: Could you state the Coase Theorem? How do you explain it to people?
Ronald Coase: It deals with questions of liability. Read the rest of this entry »
Photo credit: by Zhaofeng Xue (薛兆丰) 2009
Yesterday, in our bilingual Google+ Hangout LIVE YouTube show Wallace and I talked about “Little Emperors: Behavioral Impacts of China’s One-Child Policy” (with LIVE recorded video).
Last night, I reached out to professor Ning Wang (co-author of “How China Became Capitalist” with professor Coase) to ask him about his take on China’s One-Child Policy. Ning mentioned that a 2013 Jan video had been filmed in part to promote the launch of the Chinese edition of their book where professor Coase shared his critique of China’s One-Child Policy. I was so excited and immediately watched it twice. Here is the China’s One-Child Policy segment. (full transcript of interview here and full unedited interview video here)
The news report “One-child policy: China’s army of little emperors – The one-child policy has fundamentally changed the psychology of a generation” intrigued Economic Analyst Wallace Chan and this independent reporter. So tonight, we held a LIVE YouTube chat about the research paper “Little Emperors” and China’s One-Child Policy in two languages. Here are the recordings.
(in Cantonese) 經濟分析師陳心田與獨立記者林錦堂講一講 – 小皇帝：中國的”一家一孩”政策對行為的影響
Reference: (1) “Little Emperors: Behavioral Impacts of China’s One-Child Policy” by L. Cameron, N. Erkal, L. Gangadharan, X. Meng
Jan 26, 2013 Update: Here is a new Jan 2013 video clip of “Nobel Laureate Ronald Coase on China’s One-Child Policy“. For more (including link to transcripts) see this article.
October 29, 2015 Update: After China initiated its One-Child Policy in 1979, it is finally over today. CBC News, “China to abolish one-child policy, Communist Party says“
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced earlier today that the 2012 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel will divided equally between Alvin E. Roth (Harvard University) and Lloyd S. Shapley (UCLA) “for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design“.
Roth was interviewed over the phone immediately by the Nobel foundation following the announcement. The audio interview, hearing the answers in the words and tone of the Nobel Laureate is always interesting fascinating. Here is a brief insightful exchange excerpt from the interview transcript that explains what the this year’s winners won for,
“AG [Allegra Grevelius, from Nobelprize.org, the Nobel Prize website]: I understand. Many of Nobelprize.org’s visitors are high school students. How would you explain your prize awarded work in layman’s terms?
AR [Alvin E. Roth]: Well, my prize is about matching and matching is the work that the economy does when deciding for instance which students go to which schools. If they have a choice so high school students in some cities get matched through a choice system where they submit preferences and the schools have requirements perhaps preferences also. And some decisions are made who goes where. And that’s what matching is about. It’s about who gets what. And um, we try to, in the school choice, we try to make it happen in a way that is sufficient but doesn’t, but doesn’t send people to schools they would rather swap with other people if the schools would allow them. Um, and if your students are in high school, they are going to go through many matching markets in their lives. They’re going to get married, they’re going to get jobs, and so, they can think about us then.
AG: Yes, it is very interesting. So your work has a lot of practical applications in our lives, school applications, maybe matching kidney donors and receivers. Are you driven as an economist by these questions by applying your theories to real life?AR: Yes, economics is about real life, so I’m very interested in that.
AG: Yeah, indeed. As a young person, what inspired you to be an economist?
AR: Well, I didn’t become an economist until rather late in life. My PhD is operational research. I was interested in making things work better and using mathematics to help do that. So operational research is what I studied as an undergraduate and graduate student. The kinds of things that I found myself interested in, trying to understand and trying to make things work better were things that involved people and that meant economics.“
Cross posted by me at examiner.com
Last time Wallace and I talked about the Facebook “investment” before the super hyped IPO. Unfortunately, we were 100% right. What we discussed (the nature of Facebook, what is “investing”, etc) were backed by what we now have seen. And many many people actually lost billions on paper! You can watch our pilot episode here: “林錦堂與陳心田講一講 Facebook “投資”“.)
This time, Wallace and I talked about union’s right to strike/bargaining rights (Air Canada, CP rail). You can watch it here: 陳心田 與 林錦堂 講一講 “工會罷工”. We hope you enjoy our show!
Have a listen to this precious 3:41 radio interview, “Nobel Laureate: ‘I’ve Been Wrong So Often, I Don’t Find It Extraordinary At All’“. One has to deeply admire the humility in professor’s Coase‘s answers.
Note: I had a great video interview with Ning Wang (co-author with Coase) to talk about their new book How China Became Capitalist. (Sample Chapter: You can download a free sample book chapter from Palgrave.)
I had a great interview with Ning Wang (co-author with Ronald Coase (Nobel Laureate in Economics)) to talk about their new book How China Became Capitalist. (Sample Chapter: You can download a free sample book chapter from Palgrave.)
I appreciate very much professor Wang spending over an hour sharing his insight with me about How China Became Capitalist and answering questions I have related to the Chinese economy. The following are edited clips of the video interview. By the way, feel free to share your comments and questions. When I finish reading the book, I plan to arrange another interview with Ning to talk more. And I may be able to incorporate some of the comments/questions into my next interview.
I have edited the interview into 3 clips with a list of questions/themes. Enjoy.
*** Main interview (see below for list of questions/themes)
Main interview (list of questions/themes)
Q1) Can you talk about the Shenzhen stock exchange in mid-90s where it had 300 offices for people to buy or sell stocks when the stock exchange actually had NO official permission to allow for these trades?!
Q2) China is now the world largest producer of Ph.Ds. Yet Qian Xuesen (錢學森), a most respected Chinese scientist asked a sobering question before his death in 2009 and the question is known as the “Qian Puzzle”.
“Why have Chinese universities not produced a single world-class original thinker or innovative scientist since 1949 ?”
Q3) Quoting the book,
“After more than three decades, the Chinese legal system is still far away from where it can “guarantee the equality of all people before the people’s laws and deny anyone the privilege of being above the law.””
This is a tough assessment which I agree with very much. Can you share your thoughts?
Q4) So far I’ve only read parts of the book but I feel more pessimistic of the possibility in seeing China makeing positive changes. I’m feeling more constrained by the history I now know. Can you share your thoughts?
Q5) I love this quote in the book,
“Capitalism with Chinese characteristics is very much like traffic in Chinese cities, chaotic and intimidating for many western tourists. Yet Chinese roads deliver more goods and transport more passengers than those in any other country.“
Can you share your thoughts?
List of more in-depth questions/themes
Q1) China’s “Rule by Law” as opposite to the western practice of “Rule of Law“, that one word (“by” vs “of”) makes the difference of night and day! Can you share your thoughts? (see note 1)
Q2) “Do you see institutional arrangement as something culturally oriented or is base upon universally applicable principles? i.e. if every country is of certain uniqueness or that there exists a ‘one size fits all’ economic system?” [Thanks goes to my economist friend Wallace for this question.]
Q3) What is your and prof. Coase’s main discovery or new understanding gained from the years of research compare to the original understanding in 2008 when you started the research?
Q4) Can you talk about research topics that you and prof. Coase like to see more of? Any interesting puzzles worth further research?
List of background questions/themes about the book
Q1) Can you talk about the process of writing the book with professor Coase? I understand there was the 2008 Chicago Conference on China’s Market Transformation and then the 2010 Chicago Workshop on the Industrial Structure of Production.
Q2) I understand the book title has a history and may be traced back to 1982! Can you talk about it?
Q3) Given Ning’s Ph.D. wasn’t in Economics, how did he get to write this economics book and meet professor Coase?
Thanks: Special thanks to Katy for arranging an advance copy for me to prepare for this interview and for my book review.
1) During the writing of this post, I found a link to a book chapter “The Institutional Diffusion of Courts in China: Evidence from Survey Data” (pdf) by Pierre F. Landry, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale University. This book chapter is one of the chapters in the book “Rule By Law: The Politics of Courts in Authoritarian Regimes“. While I haven’t read it, it may be something that is worth reading further.
2) On a personal note, I I think How China Became Capitalist is a ground breaking and insightful book that shines a bright light through some foggy misconceptions in our minds. Some of these misconceptions are unfortunately encouraged and repeated by the Chinese government.
Curious about How China Became Capitalist in general and not just the book or have an interesting question/puzzle related to the Chinese economy? Share it in the comment and I will see if I can work it into my interview with Ning Wang (co-author with Ronald Coase (Nobel Laureate in Economics)) about How China Became Capitalist tomorrow (Mar 28) morning.
Sample Chapter: You can download a free sample book chapter from Palgrave.
March 28, 2012, 2pm Update: I had a most insightful 70+ minutes Skype interview with Ning Wang this morning. It will take me some time to edit & post the video and write the article. Stay tune.
October 30th, 2015 update: I forgot to add the video link, here it is: “Video interview Ning Wang – How China Became Capitalist, co-author with Ronald Coase Nobel Laureate in Economics”
Just received the new book How China Became Capitalist (pub date: March 23) by Ronald Coase (Nobel Laureate in Economics) and Ning Wang. (download a sample chapter from Palgrave) I am reading the book and have planned a video interview with professor Wang. Stay tune for more updates in the near future. (see also Amazon)
*** Reviews of How China Became Capitalist ***
(note: emphasis added)
‘This is a major contribution to the whole literature on economic change as well as on China. Nowhere in all of the literature on economic change and development that I know is there such a detailed study of the fumbling efforts of a society to evolve and particularly one that had as long and as far to go as China did.’ – Douglass C. North, 1993 Nobel laureate in Economics
‘This book is one of the greatest works in economics and in studies of China, not only for today, but for the future.’ – Chenggang Xu, University of Hong Kong
‘Ronald Coase, now 100 years plus, and Ning Wang have written a compelling and exhaustive commentary about China’s fitful transition from Socialism under Mao to today’s distinctive capitalist economy. No student of China or socialism can afford to miss this volume.’ – Richard Epstein, University of Chicago Law School
‘Coase finds a nation whose philosophy and policy have reflected the same simple principle – “seeking truth from facts” – that has inspired his own path-breaking analyses of firms, markets and law. A fascinating and exceptionally thought-provoking account of how China, repeatedly seeking more efficient socialism, found itself turning capitalist.‘ – Stephen Littlechild, Emeritus Professor, University of Birmingham, and Fellow, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge
“Plummer said he was “totally prepared to lose. You have to be. You have to have some idea of what you’re going to say if you do win, but you really wipe it from your mind.”
After his name was announced, though, Plummer delivered one of the most polished acceptance speeches of the night.
He paid eloquent tribute to his fellow nominees – Max von Sydow, Jonah Hill, Kenneth Branagh and Nick Nolte – thanked all of those connected with the film, particularly its star, Ewan McGregor, and acknowledged the critical support given to him by his “little band of agents provocateurs … who’ve tried so hard to keep me out of jail.”
“I change that line every time I have a speech. Sometimes it’s ‘keeping me out of Sing Sing’ or ‘keeping me in martinis for all these years.’ ””
I love Mr. Plummer and think his Oscar acceptance speech is just beautiful!
Following is an insightful and very funny talk given by professor Ronald Coase when he was just 92 in 2003. And next month in March 2012, prof. Coase, now just 101 years young, will be publishing his lastest book “How China Became Capitalist“.
You see, Christopher Plummer 82 and Ronald Coase 101 are inspiring to me for they are both at an age where many people would have long “retired” to “happy” lives of doing absolutely nothing. Of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing absolutely nothing. But why are Mr. Plummer and Prof. Coase still hard at work? I believe this saying says it all, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life“. Both Mr. Plummer and Prof. Coase are doing work they just LOVE to do. And would do it anyway even if no one pays them to.
So Mr. Plummer‘s and Prof. Coase‘s lessons for me is to find and do a job I love so that I will never have to work a day in my life! Oh, and living to 82 or 101 to work will be just GREAT and a bonus!
The insightful Prof. Ronald Coase turned 101 years old few days ago on Dec 29, 2011. The following is the 2011 edition of the yearly Coase Lecture delivered by Prof. Thomas Miles.
P.S. I’ve finished watching the video now. I think I need a much more detail review of the referenced research papers (which I don’t have time to do) before I can decide if I have missed noticing any potential source of problems/mistakes.
I’ve heard of Leo Herzel (via Prof. Ronald Coase and others) for some years, it was only yesterday that I finally got around to read his “My 1951 Color Television Article” (The Journal of Law & Economics, 1998) that talks about his original 1951 thought provoking and influential idea and analysis.
Quoting the Leo’s obituary in the Chicago Sun-Times,
“His legacy extends to at least three Nobel Prize-winning economists, including Ronald Coase, who credits Mr. Herzel with creation of the initial theory that later became the foundation for his Nobel Prize-winning article, “The Problem of Social Cost.”
Mr. Herzel’s analysis of market solutions to resource allocation problems, written while he was a student at the University of Chicago in 1950, guides FCC policy [in particular, frequency spectrum auctions in US and around the world] to this day.”
Here is a new addition to Quotes I Love,
Photo credit: by Zhaofeng Xue (薛兆丰) 2009
And I like to send an early Happy Birthday and All the Best wish to Professor Coase, for his up coming 101th birthday on 29th December, 2011! And I am looking forward to the upcoming (Feb 2012) book “How China Became Capitalist” co-authored by Prof. Coase and Ning Wang. Yes, Prof. Coase is going to be 101 years old and he is still working and writing!
The following is an insightful 2003 talk by Prof. Coase when he was _only_ 93 years old! :) (See this entry for all six video clips and time codes plus descriptions.)
I wish I had more time to study Lego as a business, but since it is a private business, my incentive to read though Lego’s years of annual reports are somewhat reduced. :) If I were to judge Lego by people’s interest in playing with them in the middle of the Chinook shopping mall last Saturday, it looks like people’s love affair with Lego haven’t finished at all. It was really cool to see this father and his two sons spent a lovely afternoon building this Lego project!
I enjoy Lego as a kid, but since Nov 2005, I have been thinking more like a legal minded business consultant. Well, what happened in Nov 2005? As some readers may remember, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Lego’s “monopoly on the bricks is over” in Nov 2005 and Canadian MEGA Brands (maker of the MEGA BLOKS construction toys) can freely make their bricks to work with Lego’s.
What surprised me is a quick look/research (spending 5 minutes) seem to indicate the privately held Lego is still making good profit based on its lastest 2009 annual report.
Whereas the stock prices of Mega Brands, a high of $552 on Dec 30, 2005 down to $9.42 at the close of July 13, 2011, plus a quick glance of Mega Brands’ 2010 annual report, indicates Read the rest of this entry »
Have a read of the insightful G&M article “Census decision a slow-motion train wreck“, here is an excerpt,
“The census story is a train wreck in slow motion; the latest car to pile on the flaming ruins is the recent report that Statistics Canada has resigned itself to accepting incomplete responses to the National Household Survey (NHS). [Kempton’s note: Sadly, this first tran]
Many readers may have thought that the census issue was settled last summer; it wasn’t. We haven’t even begun to deal with the consequences of the decision to replace the mandatory long-form census with the voluntary NHS. As Economy Lab contributor Kevin Milligan and his UBC colleague David Green note in Canadian Public Policy, one of the most striking features of the census is its ‘hidden ubiquity’. [Kempton’s note: Milligan & Green’s research note is highly recommended reading. Download the free note and read.] The census is an invisible — and yet essential — element Read the rest of this entry »
This morning at the Braeside Stampede Breakfast, I had the pleasure to interview Jesse Salus, an organizer of the Save Glenmore Park‘s group (Facebook group & Twitter), to talk about the group’s concern that the five southwest ring road connector options proposed by the Alberta government don’t solve the problem and are too costly for the communities and the tax payers.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
“The Province of Alberta has released the results of a Functional Planning Study (FPS) for a southwest ring road connector. The FPS unveiled five options, all of which entail eight-lane, 110 km/hr expressways that will come right through Calgary.
However, Albertans may not need to spend billions and suffer the impacts of building a highly questionable expressway link. We have asked the wrong question when we try to find a route for a new eight-lane expressway. The real question is, how can the Province Read the rest of this entry »
After writing about Nortel gets $4.5 billion for 6,000 patents and patent applications, it is good to read some details. According to internal sources with promised anonymity by “I, Cringely” (emphasis added)
“Here’s the consortium participation as I understand it. RIM and Ericsson together put up $1.1 billion with Ericsson getting a fully paid-up license to the portfolio while RIM, as a Canadian company like Nortel, gets a paid-up license plus possibly some carry forward operating losses from Nortel, which has plenty of such losses to spare. For RIM the deal might actually have a net zero cost after tax savings, which the Canadian business press hasn’t yet figured out.
Microsoft and Sony put up another $1 billion.
There is a reportedly a side deal for about $400 million with EMC that has the storage company walking with sole ownership of an unspecified subset of the Nortel patents.
Finally Apple put up $2 billion for outright ownership of Nortel’s Long Term Evolution (4G) patents as well as another package of patents supposedly intended to hobble Android.
At the end of the day this deal isn’t about royalties. It is about trying to kill Android.”