Edited by Claude Ménard and Elodie Bertrand
Chapter 3: The transaction cost economics project: origins, evolution, utilization
My remarks are organized in three parts. Part 2 deals with Ronald Coase and his introduction of the concept of transaction costs. Part 3 makes the move from transaction costs to transaction cost economics, where the object of the latter is to develop a predictive theory of firm and market organization. Part 4 discusses the importance of empirical testing. My purpose here is to briefly describe Ronald Coase’s college education and his 1937 paper on “The Nature of the Firm.” Ronald Coase wrote three papers in the year 1987, the object of which was to put his 1937 paper on “The Nature of the Firm” into perspective. The occasion for these articles to be written was the conference that Sidney Winter and I organized to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of “The Nature of the Firm.” Naturally we invited Ronald to attend. Given his age (77 – which I now think of as young!), we did not ask him to make any formal presentations. To our surprise, he asked if he could give a lecture, to which we quickly agreed.
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