VOLUME 3 (2008), ISSUE 1, Frontiers in Economic History and the Economic Approach to Law    

O problema do custo social

Ronald Coase, University of Chicago

Translated by: Francisco Kümmel F. Alves e Renato Vieira Caovilla, bacharéis em Direito na PUC/RS e membros do Grupo de Pesquisa em Direito e Economia da PUC/RS, coordenado pelo Prof. Dr. Luciano Benetti Timm. Revisão técnica de Antônio José Maristrello Porto (FGV DIREITO RIO) e Marcelo Lennertz (FGV DIREITO RIO).

Ronald Coase (2008) "O problema do custo social", The Latin American and Caribbean Journal of Legal Studies: Vol. 3: No. 1, Article 9.

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Before Coase, economists regarded air, water, and noise pollution, for example, as social costs inflicted on society by the market system. Producers were profiting by shifting costs to society in general. Economists believed that only increased government regulation could rectify these "market failures" and prevent capitalism from harming society. Coase undermined the conventional wisdom by arguing that social costs result from the absence of defined property rights, not from the failure of markets. The solution was to extend the market by defining rights.

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