Radio

Nobel Laureate: 'I've Been Wrong So Often, I Don't Find It Extraordinary At All'

"I'm 101 at the moment," Ronald Coase said.

"I'm 101 at the moment," Ronald Coase said. University of Chicago hide caption

itoggle caption University of Chicago

I recently had a brief conversation with Ronald Coase.

"I'm 101 at the moment," he told me. "I get older by the minute."

Coase is a legend in economics. He won the Nobel prize. He has a theorem named after him. But China's rapid emergence as a global economic power — one of the most important developments of the past generation — took him completely by surprise.

"I thought it would take 100 years, if not more," Coase said.

It seemed striking that an economic legend could be so wrong about such an important subject. I asked Coase what he made of this.

"I've been wrong so often I don't find it extraordinary at all," he said.

Coase just co-wrote a new book. It's called "How China Became Capitalist."

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.