Robert H. Frank in the NYTimes on Coase and Government's Role in Economy

Ronald Coase, a Pragmatic Voice for Government’s Role
Robert H. Frank
New York Times
September 14, 2013

The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science is not awarded posthumously. So I was relieved when my longtime intellectual hero, Ronald H. Coase, won it in 1991, just a few months before his 81st birthday.

Because he had been widely regarded as one of the world’s most influential economists for several decades, I thought that the Nobel selection committee had acted recklessly in waiting so long to honor him. I needn’t have worried. Mr. Coase, who died this month at 102, would have had many more opportunities.

Born and educated in England, he began adulthood as a socialist. But he spent most of his career at the University of Chicago, where he was revered by its many free-market enthusiasts as the world’s foremost authority on behavior with harmful side effects, or negative e