Ronald Coase, the British-born US economist who was awarded the Nobel prize in 1991, died on Tuesday in Chicago, the University of Chicago announced. He was 102.
Coase, who studied at the University of London and London School of Economics, was famed for his 1960 article, “The Problem of Social Cost,” was the basis for the famous Coase Theorem.
It suggests that well-defined property rights could overcome non-market forces. Another of his trailblazing works was “The Nature of the Firm” (1937), on the concept of transaction costs and how it explains firms’ characteristics and limits.
He was also known for the Coase conjecture, which held that monopolists selling durable goods — products like cars and refrigerators that are not replaced often — compete with themselves over time and so must sell at a lower price.
After marrying Marion Ruth Hartung of Chicago, Coase moved from Britain to the United States, where he worked at the University of Buffalo, University of Virginia; and the University of Chicago, from 1964.
When his 100th birthday was approaching Coase was at work on a book on Chinese and Vietnamese economic might called “How China Became Capitalist.”
He also received an honorary doctorate from the University at Buffalo department of economics in May 2012.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]