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An Underrated Originality of «The Problem of Social Cost»: The LSE Source

Elodie Bertrand ()
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Elodie Bertrand: BETA - CNRS Université de Lorraine - Faculté de Droit, Sciences Économiques et de Gestion - EconomiX, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre

History of Economic Ideas, 2015, vol. 23, issue 3, 19-44

Abstract: Ronald Coase’s view on cost, which was widespread in Arnold Plant’s research group at the London School of Economics, is most visible in his 1938 article «Business Organization and the Accountant». By recounting the analytical similarities between this article and «The Problem of Social Cost», I shall examine the influence that the lse context had on Coase’s article, which was seminal for the new Law and Economics movement. Admittedly, the subjectivist dimension does not exist in «The Problem of Social Cost», but some of the main insights of this paper are based on a new understanding of the notion of opportunity cost, in continuity with Coase’s early reflections on cost at the LSE.

Date: 2015
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Handle: RePEc:hid:journl:v:23:y:2015:3:2:p:19-44