Williamson Miscellany, Continued

14 October 2009 at 2:14 pm 1 comment

| Peter Klein |

5. Many useful summaries of Williamson’s (and Ostrom’s) contributions are appearing online, such as those by Ed Glaeser, David Henderson, John Nye, Jeff Ely, and Alex Tabarrok. I think the first few pages of my “make-or-buy” chapter in the NIE Handbook provide a decent overview too. I also have some slides on transaction cost economics (part 1, part 2) that may be helpful for those seeking more detail.

6. Joshua Gans credits me with anticipating the award, which is nice, but undeserved — it was just wishful thinking on my part!

7. Oliver’s son Dean reports that he’s having trouble getting through to his folks: “The house in Berkeley had become such a media circus with every media entity from UPI to Al Jazeera trying to get through that I’ve been holding off with some of my own phone calls.” More important, Dean says his dad

has had a good attitude about these things. For years Berkeley would ask him to sign off on candidate press releases. But this would just get him a little worked up, and he might have a hard time getting to sleep. Could they stop that, please? On top of that, he appreciates that life has been good. No complaints, no reason to get worked up. Better to be Zen about the whole thing.

8. Scott Masten tells me O&M made a list of 100 best professor blogs. Scott and I agree that Williamson would gladly trade the Nobel prize for this honor instead.

9. Friends, colleagues, and students have congratulated me on my association with Williamson. Naturally, I’m thrilled, humbled, and encouraged. And I do feel like some of those warm Swedish fuzzies have been tossed my way, at least indirectly. It’s like the scene from Goodfellas on Tommy’s purported initiation day:

Jimmy and me could never be made because we had Irish blood. It didn’t matter my mother was Sicilian. To become a member of a crew you must be 100% Italian, so they can trace your relatives to the old country. It’s the highest honor they can give you. It means you belong to a family and a crew. It means nobody can f— around with you. Also, you can f— around with anybody,as long as they aren’t also a member. . . . As far as Jimmy was concerned, with Tommy being made . . . it was like we were all being made. We would now have one of our own as a member.

OK, the analogy doesn’t quite hold — especially given the outcome (Tommy gets whacked, not made) — but you get the idea. This is the closet me and my Williamsonian pals will come to Nobel greatness.

Entry filed under: - Klein -, New Institutional Economics, People, Theory of the Firm.

Hoisted from the Comments: Hoopes on Williamson Williamson and the Austrians

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