Ronald Coase is widely recognised as one of the most influential economists of the 20th century. In this new volume, Matthias Klaes argues that Coase is a self-styled disciplinary renegade, whose aim for the past four decades has been to re-orient the shape and practice of modern economics. This book will provide an account of the alternative economics present in Coase's work, offering a balanced analysis of the full breadth of his writings over eight decades.
The book starts by introducing the reader to the key features of late 19th century neoclassical economics, in particular as it emerged through the Marshallian and Austrian traditions, and as it was taken up in applied fields such as commerce and business studies. Building on these conceptual roots, it will offer the reader an analytical reconstruction of Coase's work as a strand of modern historical economics presently not properly recognised or acknowledged as such in the discipline, taking the full corpus of Coase's writings into account. This contemporary history of economic thought perspective on Coase's work will offer the basis for four policy case studies. These will illustrate how the analytical framework of historical economics thus recovered from Coase's work can be applied to the economics of intellectual property rights, the political economy of Europen Monetary Union, the economic governance of carbon trading, and Chinese economic reform.
The book also explores the issue of the value and relevance of the history of economics to economic analysis and its applications, and the book as a whole will serve as a demonstration of a possible answer to that question.