The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
Economics is the social science that studies the production and consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses on the behaviour and interactions of economic agents. Microeconomics analyzes basic elements in the economy, including individual agents and markets, their interactions, the outcomes of interactions. Individual agents may include, for example, firms and sellers. Macroeconomics analyzes the entire economy and issues affecting it, including unemployment of resources, economic growth, the public policies that address these issues. See glossary of economics. Other broad distinctions within economics include those between positive economics, describing "what is", normative economics, advocating "what ought to be". Economic analysis can be applied throughout society, in business, health care, government. Economic analysis is sometimes applied to such diverse subjects as crime, the family, politics, social institutions, war and the environment; the discipline was renamed in the late 19th century due to Alfred Marshall, from "political economy" to "economics" as a shorter term for "economic science".
At that time, it became more open to rigorous thinking and made increased use of mathematics, which helped support efforts to have it accepted as a science and as a separate discipline outside of political science and other social sciences. There are a variety of modern definitions of economics. Scottish philosopher Adam Smith defined what was called political economy as "an inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations", in particular as: a branch of the science of a statesman or legislator a plentiful revenue or subsistence for the people... to supply the state or commonwealth with a revenue for the publick services. Jean-Baptiste Say, distinguishing the subject from its public-policy uses, defines it as the science of production and consumption of wealth. On the satirical side, Thomas Carlyle coined "the dismal science" as an epithet for classical economics, in this context linked to the pessimistic analysis of Malthus. John Stuart Mill defines the subject in a social context as: The science which traces the laws of such of the phenomena of society as arise from the combined operations of mankind for the production of wealth, in so far as those phenomena are not modified by the pursuit of any other object.
Alfred Marshall provides a still cited definition in his textbook Principles of Economics that extends analysis beyond wealth and from the societal to the microeconomic level: Economics is a study of man in the ordinary business of life. It enquires how he uses it. Thus, it is on the one side, the study of wealth and on the other and more important side, a part of the study of man. Lionel Robbins developed implications of what has been termed "erhaps the most accepted current definition of the subject": Economics is a science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses. Robbins describes the definition as not classificatory in "pick out certain kinds of behaviour" but rather analytical in "focus attention on a particular aspect of behaviour, the form imposed by the influence of scarcity." He affirmed that previous economists have centred their studies on the analysis of wealth: how wealth is created and consumed. But he said that economics can be used to study other things, such as war, that are outside its usual focus.
This is because war has as the goal winning it, generates both cost and benefits. If the war is not winnable or if the expected costs outweigh the benefits, the deciding actors may never go to war but rather explore other alternatives. We cannot define economics as the science that studies wealth, crime and any other field economic analysis can be applied to; some subsequent comments criticized the definition as overly broad in failing to limit its subject matter to analysis of markets. From the 1960s, such comments abated as the economic theory of maximizing behaviour and rational-choice modelling expanded the domain of the subject to areas treated in other fields. There are other criticisms as well, such as in scarcity not accounting for the macroeconomics of high unemployment. Gary Becker, a contributor to the expansion of economics into new areas, describes the approach he favours as "combin assumptions of maximizing behaviour, stable preferences, market equilibrium, used relentlessly and unflinchingly."
One commentary characterizes the remark as making economics an approach rather than a subject matter but with great specificity as to the "choice process and the type of social interaction that analysis involves." The same source reviews a range of definitions included in principles of economics textbooks and concludes that the lack of agreement need not affect the subject-matter that the texts treat. A
In economics, a public good is a good, both non-excludable and non-rivalrous in that individuals cannot be excluded from use or could be enjoyed without paying for it, where use by one individual does not reduce availability to others or the goods can be consumed by more than one person. This is in contrast to a common good, non-excludable but is rivalrous to a certain degree. Public goods include knowledge, official statistics, national security, common language, flood control systems and street lighting. Public goods that are available everywhere are sometimes referred to as global public goods. Examples of public good knowledge is mens and youth health awareness, environmental issues, maintaining biodiversity and interpreting contemporary history with a cultural lexicon about protected cultural heritage sites and monuments and entertaining tourist attractions and universities. Many public goods may at times be subject to excessive use resulting in negative externalities affecting all users.
Public goods problems are closely related to the "free-rider" problem, in which people not paying for the good may continue to access it. Thus, the good may be overused or degraded. Public goods may become subject to restrictions on access and may be considered to be club goods. There is a good deal of debate and literature on how to measure the significance of public goods problems in an economy, to identify the best remedies. There is an important conceptual difference between the sense of "a" public good, or public "goods" in economics, the more generalized idea of "the public good", "a shorthand signal for shared benefit at a societal level". In a non-economic sense, the term is used to describe something, useful for the public such as education, although this is not a "public good" in the economic sense. However, services like education exhibit jointness of supply, i.e. the situation in which the cost of supplying a good to many users is the same, or nearly the same, as supplying it to one user.
Public goods exhibit jointness of supply, albeit with no diminishment of the benefits with increased consumption. Paul A. Samuelson is credited as the first economist to develop the theory of public goods. In his classic 1954 paper The Pure Theory of Public Expenditure, he defined a public good, or as he called it in the paper a "collective consumption good", as follows: which all enjoy in common in the sense that each individual's consumption of such a good leads to no subtractions from any other individual's consumption of that good... This is the property. A pure public good exhibits a second property called non-excludability: that is, it is impossible to exclude any individuals from consuming the good. However, many goods may satisfy the two public good conditions only to a certain extent or only some of the time; these goods are known as impure public goods. The opposite of a public good is a private good. A loaf of bread, for example, is a private good. A good, rivalrous but non-excludable is sometimes called a common-pool resource.
Such goods raise similar issues to public goods: the mirror to the public goods problem for this case is the'tragedy of the commons'. For example, it is so difficult to enforce restrictions on deep-sea fishing that the world's fish stocks can be seen as a non-excludable resource, but one, finite and diminishing. Elinor Ostrom proposed additional modifications to the classification of goods to identify fundamental differences that affect the incentives facing individuals Replacing the term "rivalry of consumption" with "subtractability of use". Conceptualizing subtractability of use and excludability to vary from low to high rather than characterizing them as either present or absent. Overtly adding a important fourth type of good—common-pool resources—that shares the attribute of subtractability with private goods and difficulty of exclusion with public goods. Forests, water systems and the global atmosphere are all common-pool resources of immense importance for the survival of humans on this earth.
Changing the name of a "club" good to a "toll" good since many goods that share these characteristics are provided by small scale public as well as private associations. The definition of non-excludability states that it is impossible to exclude individuals from consumption. Technology now allows radio or TV broadcasts to be encrypted such that persons without a special decoder are excluded from the broadcast. Many forms of information goods have characteristics of public goods. For example, a poem can be read by many people without reducing the consumption of that good by others; the information in most patents can be used by any party without reducing consumption of that good by others. Official statistics provide a clear example of information goods that are public goods, since they are created to be non-excludable. Creative works may be excludable in some circumstances, however: the individual who wrote the poem may decline to share it with others by not publishing it. Copyrights and patents both encourage the creation of such non-rival goods by providing temporary monopolies, or, in the terminology of public goods, providing a legal mechanism to enforce
In public choice theory and in economics, rent-seeking involves seeking to increase one's share of existing wealth without creating new wealth. Rent-seeking results in reduced economic efficiency through poor allocation of resources, reduced actual wealth-creation, lost government revenue, increased income inequality, national decline. Attempts at capture of regulatory agencies to gain a coercive monopoly can result in advantages for the rent seeker in a market while imposing disadvantages on competitors; this constitutes one of many possible forms of rent-seeking behavior. The idea of rent-seeking was developed by Gordon Tullock in 1967, while the expression rent-seeking itself was coined in 1974 by Anne Krueger; the word "rent" does not refer to payment on a lease but rather to Adam Smith's division of incomes into profit and rent. The origin of the term refers to gaining control of land or other natural resources. Georgist economic theory describes rent-seeking in terms of land rent, where the value of land comes from government infrastructure and services and the community in general, rather than from the actions of any given landowner, in their role as mere titleholder.
This role must be separated from the role of a property developer, which need not be the same person. Rent-seeking is an attempt to obtain economic rent by manipulating the social or political environment in which economic activities occur, rather than by creating new wealth. Rent-seeking implies extraction of uncompensated value from others without making any contribution to productivity; the classic example of rent-seeking, according to Robert Shiller, is that of a feudal lord who installs a chain across a river that flows through his land and hires a collector to charge passing boats a fee to lower the chain. There is nothing productive about the collector; the lord has made no improvements to the river and is not adding value in any way, directly or indirectly, except for himself. All he is doing is finding a way to make money from something. In many market-driven economies, much of the competition for rents is legal, regardless of harm it may do to an economy. However, some rent-seeking competition is illegal -- such as corruption.
Rent-seeking is distinguished in theory from profit-seeking, in which entities seek to extract value by engaging in mutually beneficial transactions. Profit-seeking in this sense is the creation of wealth, while rent-seeking is "profiteering" by using social institutions, such as the power of the state, to redistribute wealth among different groups without creating new wealth. In a practical context, income obtained through rent-seeking may contribute to profits in the standard, accounting sense of the word; the Tullock paradox is the apparent paradox, described by Tullock, on the low costs of rent-seeking relative to the gains from rent-seeking. The paradox is that rent-seekers wanting political favors can bribe politicians at a cost much lower than the value of the favor to the rent-seeker. For instance, a rent seeker who hopes to gain a billion dollars from a particular political policy may need to bribe politicians only to the tune of ten million dollars, about 1% of the gain to the rent-seeker.
Luigi Zingales frames it by asking, "Why is there so little money in politics?" because a naive model of political bribery and/or campaign spending should result in beneficiaries of government subsidies being willing to spend an amount up to the value of the subsidies themselves, when in fact only a small fraction of, spent. Several possible explanations have been offered for the Tullock paradox: Voters may punish politicians who take large bribes, or live lavish lifestyles; this makes it hard for politicians to demand large bribes from rent-seekers. Competition between different politicians eager to offer favors to rent-seekers may bid down the cost of rent-seeking. Lack of trust between the rent-seekers and the politicians, due to the inherently underhanded nature of the deal and the unavailability of both legal recourse and reputational incentives to enforce compliance, pushes down the price that politicians can demand for favors. An example of rent-seeking in a modern economy is spending money on lobbying for government subsidies in order to be given wealth, created, or to impose regulations on competitors, in order to increase market share.
Another example of rent-seeking is the limiting of access to lucrative occupations, as by medieval guilds or modern state certifications and licensures. Taxi licensing is a textbook example of rent-seeking. To the extent that the issuing of licenses constrains overall supply of taxi services, forbidding competition from other vehicles for hire renders the transaction of taxi service a forced transfer of part of the fee, from customers to taxi business proprietors; the concept of rent-seeking would apply to corruption of bureaucrats who solicit and extract "bribe" or "rent" for applying their legal but discretionary authority for awarding legitimate or illegitimate benefits to clients. For example, tax officials may take bribes for lessening the tax burden of the taxpayers. Regulatory capture is a related term for the collusion between firms and the government agencies assigned to regulate them, seen as enabling extensive rent-seeking behavior when the government agency must rely on the firms for knowledge about the market.
Studies of rent-seeking focus on efforts to cap
Club goods are a type of good in economics, sometimes classified as a subtype of public goods that are excludable but non-rivalrous, at least until reaching a point where congestion occurs. These goods exhibit high excludability, but at the same time low rivalry in consumption; because of that low rivalry in consumption characteristic, club goods have zero marginal costs and are provided by what is known as natural monopolies. Furthermore Club goods have artificial scarcity. Club theory is the area of economics. One of the most famous provisions was published by Buchanan in 1965 "An Economic Theory of Clubs", in which he addresses the question of how the size of the group influences the voluntary provision of a public good and more fundamentally provides a theoretical structure of communal or collective ownership-consumption arrangements. Examples of club goods include, cable television, access to copyrighted works, the services provided by social or religious clubs to their members; the EU is treated as a club good, since the services it provides can be excluded from non-EU member states, but several services are non-rival in consumption.
Examples are the free movement of goods, services and capital within the Internal Market, participation in a common currency or support for the agricultural sector through the Common Agricultural Policy. Public goods with benefits restricted to a specific group may be considered club goods. For example, expenditures that benefit all of the children in a household but not the adults; the existence of club goods for children may offset the effects of sibling competition for private investments in larger families. While a large number of children in a family would reduce private investment ratios per child, due to competition for resources, the effects of a larger family on club goods are not as straightforward; as a result of economies of scale, investment ratios in club goods may increase, since the relative price decreases when, in this example, a larger family consumes a club good. They are called child-specific goods and can be referred to as club goods. Specific examples for private club goods are golf clubs, or swimming pools.
Both organisations generate additional fees per use. For example a person may not use a swimming pool regularly; therefore instead of having a private pool, you become member of a club pool. By charging membership fees, every club member pays for the pool, making it a common property resource, but still excludable, since only members are allowed to use it. Hence, the service is excludable, but it is nonetheless non-rival in consumption, at least until a certain level of congestion is reached; the idea is that individual consumption and payment is low, but aggregate consumption enables economies of scale and drives down unit production costs. Analyzing Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel, economist Eli Berman writes: Religious prohibitions can be understood as an extreme tax on secular activity outside the club which substitutes for charitable activity within the club. A religious community lacking tax authority or unable to sufficiently subsidize charitable activity may choose prohibitions to increase this activity among members.
Sabbath observance and dietary restrictions, for instance, can be rationalized with that approach. In this context the increased stringency of religious practice is an efficient communal response to rising real wages and to increased external subsidies. James M. Buchanan developed club theory in his 1965 paper, "An Economic Theory of Clubs", he found that in neo-classical economic theory and theoretical welfare economics is about private property and all goods and services are consumed or utilised. Just over the last two decades before his provision in 1965, scholars started to extend the theoretical framework and communal or collective ownership-consumption arrangements were considered as well. Paul A. Samuelson made an important provision in this regard, making a sharp conceptual distinction between goods that are purely private and goods that are purely public. While it extended the existing theoretical framework, Buchanan found that there was still a missing link that would cover the whole spectrum of ownership consumption possibilities.
This gap contained goods that were excludable, shared by more people than share a private good, but fewer people than share a public good. The whole spectrum would cover purely private activities on one side and purely public or collectivised activities on the other side. Therefore, according to Buchanan, a theory of clubs needed to be added to the field; the goal of his theory was to address the question of determining the "size of the most desirable cost and consumption sharing arrangement". The model was based on the assumptions that individuals have similar preferences for both private and public goods, the size of the club good and equal sharing of costs; the economic theory of clubs further tries to answer the under-supply equilibrium of a public good provision. Provision of club goods may sometimes pose an alternative to public good provisions by the federal or central government. An issue of club theory is that it may not result in equal and democratic distribution of the good due to its excludability characteristic.
James M. Buchanan was interested in voluntary clubs. In these cases club good theory can critically assess how to achieve an optimal number of members of a club as well as the maximum utility for club members. Examples of private goods that Buchanan offered to illustrate this concept were hair shoes. Two people can't wear the same exact pair of shoes at
Ronald Harry Coase was a British economist and author. He was the Clifton R. Musser Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Law School, where he arrived in 1964 and remained for the rest of his life, he received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1991. Coase, who believed economists should study real markets and not theoretical ones, established the case for the corporation as a means to pay the costs of operating a marketplace. Coase is best known for two articles in particular: "The Nature of the Firm", which introduces the concept of transaction costs to explain the nature and limits of firms. Additionally, Coase's transaction costs approach is influential in modern organizational economics, where it was reintroduced by Oliver E. Williamson. Ronald Harry Coase was born in Willesden, a suburb of London, on 29 December 1910, his father, Henry Joseph Coase was a telegraphist for the post office, as was his mother, Rosalie Elizabeth Coase, before marriage. As a child, Coase had a weakness in his legs, for.
Due to this problem, he attended the school for physical defectives. At the age of 12, he was able to enter the Kilburn Grammar School on scholarship. At Kilburn, he studied for the intermediate examination of the University of London as an external student in 1927–29. Coase married Marion Ruth Hartung of Chicago, Illinois in Willesden, England, 7 August 1937. Although they were unable to have children, they were married 75 years until her death in 2012, making him one of the longest-married Nobel Prize laureates. Coase attended the London School of Economics, where he took courses with Arnold Plant and received a bachelor of commerce degree in 1932. During his undergraduate studies, Coase received the Sir Ernest Cassel Travelling Scholarship, awarded by the University of London, he used this to visit the University of Chicago in 1931–1932 and studied with Frank Knight and Jacob Viner. Coase's colleagues would admit that they did not remember this first visit. Between 1932–34, Coase was an assistant lecturer at the Dundee School of Economics and Commerce, which became part of the University of Dundee.
Subsequently, Coase was an assistant lecturer in commerce at the University of Liverpool between 1934–1935 before returning to London School of Economics as a member of staff until 1951. He started to work at the University at Buffalo and retained his British citizenship after moving to the United States in the 1950s. In 1958, he moved to the University of Virginia. Coase settled at the University of Chicago in 1964 and became the editor of the Journal of Law and Economics, he was for a time a trustee of the Philadelphia Society. He received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1991. Nearing his 100th birthday, Coase was working on a book concerning the rise of the economies of China and Vietnam. In an interview, Coase explained the mission of the Coase China Society and his vision of economics and the part to be played by Chinese economists. Coase was honoured and received an honorary doctorate from the University at Buffalo Department of Economics in May 2012. Coase died in Chicago on 2 September 2013 at the age of 102.
His wife had died on 17 October 2012. He was praised across the political spectrum, with Slate Magazine calling him "one of the most distinguished economists in the world" and Forbes magazine calling him "the greatest of the many great University of Chicago economists"; the Washington Post called his work over eight decades "impossible to summarize" while recommending five of his papers to read. In "The Nature of the Firm", a brief but influential essay, Coase attempts to explain why the economy features a number of business firms instead of consisting of a multitude of independent, self-employed people who contract with one another. Given that "production could be carried on without any organization at all", Coase asks and under what conditions should we expect firms to emerge? Since modern firms can only emerge when an entrepreneur of some sort begins to hire people, Coase's analysis proceeds by considering the conditions under which it makes sense for an entrepreneur to seek hired help instead of contracting out for some particular task.
The traditional economic theory of the time suggested that, because the market is "efficient", it should always be cheaper to contract out than to hire. Coase noted, however, a number of transaction costs involved in using the market. Other costs, including search and information costs, bargaining costs, keeping trade secrets, policing and enforcement costs, can all add to the cost of procuring something from another party; this suggests that firms will arise which can internalise the production of goods and services required to deliver a product, thus avoiding these costs. This argument sets the stage for the contributions by Oliver Williamson: markets and hierarchies are alternative co-ordination mechanisms for economic transactions. There is a natural limit to what a firm can produce however. Coase notices "decreasing returns to the entrepreneur function", including increasing overhead costs and increasing propensity for an overwhelmed manager to make mistakes in resource allocation; these factors become countervailing costs to the use of the firm.
Coase argues that the size of a firm (as measured by how m