Ronald H. Coase (1910–2013)

  • Alain MarcianoEmail author


The purpose of this chapter is to link Ronald Coase’s methodological approach to what he ‘learned’ when he was at the London School of Economics (LSE) from Edwin Cannan and Arnold Plant. The main lesson Coase taught us and insisted upon was that economics should not be too ‘abstract’ and should not rely on a priori categories. He pleaded for more realism in economics, for a form of ‘political economy’: economists should use theory to generalise what facts tell us rather than trying to interpret facts by using a priori and abstract categories. This conception of economics is closer to the LSE of Cannan and Plant than to the Chicago of Stigler, Friedman, Becker or Posner.


Coase Methodology Realism Plant Cannan Political economy Common sense Chicago LSE 


Main Works by Ronald H. Coase

  1. Coase, R.H. (1937). ‘The Nature of the Firm’. Economica, New Series, 4(16): 386–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  17. Coase, R.H. (1977). ‘Review of Selected Essays and Addresses, by Sir Arnold Plant’. Journal of Economic Literature, 15(1): 86–88.Google Scholar
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  20. Coase, R.H. (1981). ‘The Coase Theorem and the Empty Core: A Comment’. Journal of Law and Economics, 24(1): 183–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Coase, R.H. (1982). ‘Economics at LSE in the 1930’s: A Personal View’. Atlantic Economic Journal, 10(1): 31–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Coase, R.H. (1986). ‘Professor Sir Arnold Plant: His Ideas and Influence’. In M.J. Anderson (ed.) The Unfinished Agenda: Essays on the Political Economy of Government Policy in Honour of Arthur Seldon. London: The Institute of Economic Affairs: 81–90.Google Scholar
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  24. Coase, R.H. (1988a). ‘The Nature of the Firm: Meaning’. Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, 4(1): 19–32.Google Scholar
  25. Coase, R.H. (1988b). The Firm, the Market, and the Law. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  26. Coase, R.H. (1988c). ‘The Nature of the Firm: Origin’. Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, 4(1): 3–17.Google Scholar
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  33. Coase, R.H. (2000). ‘The Acquisition of Fisher Body by General Motors’. Journal of Law and Economics, 43(1): 15–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MREUniversity of MontpellierMontpellierFrance

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