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Measuring Coase's Influence


  • William M. Landes
  • Sonia Lahr-Pastor


This paper considers Ronald Coase's legacy through citation analysis. Our goal, however, is not simply to confirm that Coase is highly cited but to examine other aspects of Coase's influence that can be revealed by citation analysis. For example, we look at the durability of his work, the highly concentrated nature of his influence, his influence in economics as opposed to law and how he has fared in economics textbooks and judicial opinions. We also compare Coase with two groups of scholars: other Nobel Prize winners in economics and highly cited law and economics scholars. We find that Coase is cited frequently in both law and economics, compared with peer scholars in both fields. Although his influence is highly concentrated, he is nevertheless among the most cited scholars in all three fields. His ideas are also widely referenced in judicial opinions and textbooks, which is further evidence of the lasting influence of his work.

Suggested Citation

  • William M. Landes & Sonia Lahr-Pastor, 2011. "Measuring Coase's Influence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(S4), pages 383-401.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/666478

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Landes, William M & Posner, Richard A, 1993. "The Influence of Economics of Law: A Quantitative Study," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 385-424, April.
    2. Landes, William M & Lessig, Lawrence & Solimine, Michael E, 1998. "Judicial Influence: A Citation Analysis of Federal Courts of Appeals Judges," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 271-332, June.
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