Ronald Coase, Nobel Prize-Winning Economist, Dies at 102; CEI Releases Interview Footage From 2004

Ronald Coase, the University of Chicago economist who won the 1991 Nobel “for his discovery and clarification of the significance of transaction costs and property rights for the institutional structure and functioning of the economy,” died on Monday at the age of 102.

CEI Founder Fred L. Smith, Jr. interviewed Coase on April 28, 2004. During the conversation, Coase explained the nuances of his work, answering questions about market pricing, antitrust, healthcare, intellectual property and more.

Some key Coase quotes from the CEI interview:

“All my arguments are simple, and it’s very difficult to get them accepted.”

“Economists don’t study what goes on in real world, they live in the imaginary world; and in the imaginary world there weren’t multi-part tariffs.”

“If you take national health services, where services are provided by the government for nothing, this is universally applauded. The only difficulty is, if you go to countries where this system is in operation, many of the services which are provided for nothing are not available. And so on the one hand you can say how nice it is that people don’t have to pay very much, on the other hand, how unpleasant it is that you can’t get them.”

“What has happened in antitrust is that antitrust lawyers are anxious to bring cases, and they find cases in almost any circumstance.”

Watch the full interview below.