The New Institutional Economics

It is commonly said, and it may be true, that the new institutional economics started with my article, "The Nature of the Firm" (1937) with its explicit introduction of transaction costs into economic analysis. But it needs to be remembered that the source of a mighty river is a puny little stream and that it derives its strength from the tributaries that contribute to its bulk. So it is in this case. I am not thinking only of the contributions of other economists such as Oliver Williamson, Harold Demsetz, and Steven Cheung, important though they have been, but also of the work of our colleagues in law, anthropology, sociology, political science, sociobiology, and other disciplines. 

Ronald Coase
Publisher: American Economic Association
Published in: American Economic Review
1998 88 Pages 72-74