Via Tyler Cowen. I met him briefly once, at the third meeting of the International Society for the New Institutional Economics, where he gave the keynote address. His address was followed by the usual kind of discussion, in which various prominent institutional economists asked self-serving ‘questions’ that were obviously crafted to magnify their role, or further their own specific agenda. Coase, who was then in his late eighties, did a wonderful job of deflating them in a fashion that combined acerbity and politeness. His contribution to economics is sometimes misunderstood. He repeatedly deplored the way in which the Coase ‘theorem’ had been taken up in the literature – economists had focused on the model in which bargaining would resolve social problems perfectly well in a world without transaction costs, while ignoring his actual point (that such a frictionless environment did not, and never would exist). Obviously, his politics weren’t my politics, nor the politics of anyone else here at Crooked Timber – he’s still worth reading. That he remained so intellectually active – into his 11th decade! – is extraordinary.