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Ronald Coase and Business Understanding (Part I: Why Are There Firms?)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- September 5, 2013

[Editor note: Ronald Coase died last week at age 102 (obits here and here). One of the most important economists of the last century, Coase substituted real-world economics for ‘blackboard economics’ to solve some fundamental questions–and to appreciate market processes in place of government intervention.]

“When economists find that they are unable to analyze what is happening in the real world, they invent an imaginary world which they are capable of handling. It was not a procedure I wanted to follow in the 1930s. It explains why I tried to find the reason for the existence of the firm in factories and offices rather than in the writings of economists, which I irreverently labeled as ‘bilge.’” (Ronald Coase)

MasterResource attempts to comprehend markets and government regulation of markets. Undesigned (market) order is compared and contrasted to imposed (government) disorder.