Small Business Economics

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 173–184 | Cite as

Coase on entrepreneurship

  • Siri Terjesen
  • Ning Wang


Following a short biography of Nobel Laureate economist Ronald H. Coase, this two part interview explores (1) Coase’s life history and thoughts on academic scholarship and (2) Coase’s perspective on the field of entrepreneurship. Coase describes his experiences during his visiting scholarship to America in 1932, early career at the London School of Economics, and government work during World War II. He discusses the virtues of scholarship and the role of technology. In the second part of the interview, Coase views entrepreneurship as a vital source of endogenous change in the economy and outlines the importance of investigating the structure of production, and other important research and policy questions. Coase elaborates on how entrepreneurship has changed over time, and describes his most recent work on entrepreneurship in China. The interview concludes with Coase’s thoughts on the evolution of scholarship and his efforts to advance the field.


Coase Economics Entrepreneurship Interview Scholarship 

JEL Classifications

A11 B25 B31 L26 N01 



The authors thank Professor Ronald Coase for granting this interview to commemorate his 102nd birthday. Coase also generously provided us with the permission to reprint excerpts from his autobiography (Coase 1991a) and speech (Coase 1991b). As Swedish law allows individuals to quote works without formal permission as long as the author and copyright are clearly stated, excerpts from the Nobel Foundation are marked as copyright (©The Nobel Foundation).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, Kelley School of BusinessIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.School of Politics and Global StudiesArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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