Monday, 20 April 2015

Kenneth Arrow talking about future directions of research in the Coasean tradition

This video is of the Nobel Prize winner Professor Kenneth Arrow talking on the topic of "Future Directions of Research in the Coasean Tradition". This discussion emphasises Coase's first famous paper "The Nature of the Firm".

To some, who see Arrow purely as a general equilibrium (GE) theorist, it may seem odd that he was asked to talk on research in the Coasean tradition. After all GE would be considered "blackboard economics" and thus largely uninteresting, by Coase. But Arrow's work is wider than just GE theory and aspects of it are relevant to the issue under consideration. For example, Arrow's has made contributions to the new institutional economics, which Coase's work founded. Such achievements are discussed in a paper by Oliver Williamson entitled, not too imaginatively, "Kenneth Arrow and the New Institutional Economics" (This paper appears in George Feiwel, ed., Arrow and the Foundations of the Theory of Economic Policy, New York, 1987, pp. 584-99). Thus Arrow's work makes him more suited to discussing the topic at hand than it may at first appear.

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