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:
* “The man who showed why firms exist – Anyone who cares about capitalism and economics should mourn the death of Ronald Coase“, The Economist
* “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 »