This conference honors the life and research of Ronald Coase. 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Coase’s seminal paper on the Federal Communications Commission. 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of his paper on “The Problem of Social Cost,” and his 100th birthday. The presentations on this occasion cover specific topics on which Coase’s work has exerted profound influence, including such areas as telecommunications policy, airline regulation and development, environmental economics, economic development, organization of the firm, and general discussions of the questions of transactions costs and social rationality to which he has contributed so much. See here, here and here.
排队经济学(Rationing by Waiting)
科斯（Ronald H. Coase）：“我被反垄断法烦透了。假如价格涨了，法官就说是‘垄断定价’；价格跌了，就说是‘掠夺定价’；价格不变，就说是‘勾结定价’”。(Ronald Coase said he had gotten tired of anti-trust because when the prices went up the judges said it was monopoly, when the prices went down they said it was predatory pricing, and when they stayed the same they said it was tacit collusion. — Source: William Landes, “The Fire of Truth: A Remembrance of Law and Econ at Chicago”, JLE (1981)) 详见这里和这里。
布坎南（James M. Buchanan）：需求量和价格之间的反向关系，是经济科学的核心命题，它体现了这样的预设，即人类的选择行为足够理性，以致是可以预测的。没有一个物理学家会说“水往上流”，也没有一个自重的经济学家会说“提高最低工资可以增加就业”。这种说法，要是认真地生发下去，将无异于全盘否定了经济学，使其科学含义荡然无存；要是这样，经济学家除了撰写迎合意识形态偏好的文章，就别无可为了。值得庆幸的是，只有一小撮经济学家愿意背弃两个世纪的经济学教诲；我们尚未堕落成一群随营的娼妓（详见这里）。
Becker: Financial Regulations
Gary Becker: The claim that the crisis was due to an insufficient level of regulation is not convincing. For example, commercial banks have been more regulated than most other financial institutions, yet commercial banks performed no better than other classes of financial institutions. At the other extreme, hedge funds have been the least regulated, and on the whole they did better than most others in the financial sector. One major problem with regulations is the regulators themselves. See here.
Why Bailouts and Stimulus Don’t Work
Benjamin Powell at Washington Times: America’s move to act swiftly and boldly misses the point. Bank bailouts and fiscal stimulus bills don’t work because they strive to maintain the status quo. But the status quo is the problem and exactly what needs to be corrected. The U.S. housing bubble drew too many workers and too much capital into construction and related industries. So funding public works projects to keep those companies in business is the wrong solution. See here. (HT: EconLog)