Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello

Coase Theorem: Empirical Tests

  • Elodie BertrandEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_628


This entry examines three classic tests of the Coase theorem: two empirical studies on the most famous examples of externalities – Coase’s ranchers and farmers (Ellickson, Stanford Law Rev. 38(3):623–687, 1986) and Meade’s bees (Cheung, J Law Econ 16(1):11–33, 1973) – as well as the seminal laboratory experiments of Hoffman and Spitzer (J Law Econ 25(1):73–98, 1982). I will insist on the difficulty of testing the theorem without measuring transaction costs, and on another obstacle to negotiation over and above these costs: a moral or social prohibition on exchange.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CNRS and University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (ISJPS, UMR 8103)ParisFrance