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Why Is “Stigler’s Coase Theorem” Stiglerian? A Methodological Explanation

Including a Symposium on Bruce Caldwell’s Beyond Positivism After 35 Years

ISBN: 978-1-78756-126-7, eISBN: 978-1-78756-125-0

Publication date: 14 June 2018

Abstract

The Coase theorem is associated with Stigler because Stigler coined the term. The object of this paper is to show that Stigler’s Coase theorem is Stiglerian for deeper – namely, methodological – reasons. We argue that, convinced as he was by the importance of Coase’s message, Stigler also believed that this message – such as presented in “The Federal Communications Commission” (1959) or “The Problem of Social Cost” (1962) – was not scientific. Hence, he had to transform it into a theorem to give it a scientific dimension. This is what we try to show by presenting Stigler’s methodology and by confronting it to the methodology used in Coase’s articles.

Keywords

Citation

Marciano, A. (2018), "Why Is “Stigler’s Coase Theorem” Stiglerian? A Methodological Explanation ", Including a Symposium on Bruce Caldwell’s Beyond Positivism After 35 Years (Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, Vol. 36A), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 127-155. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0743-41542018000036A009

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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