IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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


  • Elodie Bertrand

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


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Elodie Bertrand, 2015. "An Underrated Originality of «The Problem of Social Cost»: The LSE Source," History of Economic Ideas, Fabrizio Serra Editore, Pisa - Roma, vol. 23(3), pages 19-44.
  • Handle: RePEc:hid:journl:v:23:y:2015:3:2:p:19-44

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Valentiny, Pál, 2018. "Coase-kép másképp: középpontban a közszolgáltatások [Coase otherwise: Public utilities]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(4), pages 346-381.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hid:journl:v:23:y:2015:3:2:p:19-44. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mario Aldo Cedrini). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.