ECON 5463 The Economics of Organization

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In a famous 1937 essay (for which he eventually won the Nobel Prize) Ronald Coase asked why all economic activity -- all production (and maybe consumption) tasks -- are not organized using the supply-and-demand mechanism of the price system. Why are some activities organized within the boundaries of the institution called the firm?  His answer was that what we now call transaction costs affect the choice of economic organization.  A large literature has since sprung up trying to understand the nature and sources of those transaction costs.  That literature is the subject of this course.  

The course will not require a mathematics background (even though a few of the articles will have math in them), but it will require you to think like an economist.  Course requirements will likely revolve around a series of short papers, but that is not cast in concrete.  Check this space for updates.