Oldest Nobel Prize winner Ronald Coase dies at 102
Modified: September 3, 2013 at 2:48 pm • Published: September 3, 2013
CHICAGO (AP) ― Nobel Prize winner Ronald Coase, a pioneer in applying economic theory to the law, has died at age 102. The former University of Chicago professor was the oldest living Nobel laureate before his death Monday at a Chicago hospital.
Coase died after a short illness, said University of Chicago Law School Dean Michael Schill who spoke to Coase's caregiver who was with him when he died.
The British-born economist won the Nobel in 1991 for expanding economic theory to include simple but neglected concepts such as property rights and overhead costs. His work generated a new way of thinking about government regulation, without condemning all regulation as bad, Schill said.
"It's impossible to overstate the influence of Ronald on the law," Schill said. "Ronald was one of the founding fathers of (the field of) law and economics."
Coase was born in suburban London in 1910. He wore leg braces as a child and was sent to a school for "physical defectives," he recalled in a biographical essay he wrote for the Nobel Prize organization. He hadn't taken Latin, so a degree in history ― his first choice ― was impossible.
That became "one of those accidental factors which seem to have shaped my life," he wrote, and eventually led him to the study of economics.
Coase's ideas grew from roots in the real world. In the 1930s, while a student at the London School of Economics, he toured U.S. factories. What he learned from talking to business owners shaped his first significant paper, "The Nature of the Firm," published in 1937 when he was in his mid-20s.
Bloomberg News “Ronald Coase dies at 102; economist was oldest living Nobel laureate “ http://www.latimes.com/obituaries/la-me-ronald-coase-20130904,0,2184513.story
Dieter Bohn “Ronald Coase, the 'father' of the spectrum auction, dies at 102” http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/3/4691908/ronald-coase-the-father-of-the-spectrum-auction-dies-at-102
Mark Littlewood “Ronald Coase obituary” http://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/sep/04/ronald-coase
Stephanie Flanders “Ronald Coase and his economics” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23952798
Larry Downes “Remembering Ronald Coase” http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/09/remembering_ronald_coase.html
John Cassidy “Ronald Coase and the Misuse of Economics” http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2013/09/ronald-coase-and-the-misuse-of-economics.html