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Quotation of the Day…

is from this well-done video by Liberty Fund featuring Richard Epstein interviewing Ronald Coase; starting near the six-minute mark, Coase discusses his teacher Arnold Plant‘s education at the London School of Economics:

Coase: So he [Arnold Plant] didn’t take any courses in economics, although he did attend Cannan’s lectures.

Epstein: And who was Cannan?

Coase: Edwin Cannan was the professor of economics at the London School of Economics. Very different from the modern economist – a man with a lot of common sense.

Epstein (facetiously): Poor fellow.

Coase (smiling): Well, it stood him in good stead, which would help us a good deal if more people had it.

Edwin Cannan’s 1927 collection of essays, An Economist’s Protest – from which several of Cafe Hayek’s Quotations of the Day (such as this one) have been drawn – is a cornucopia of superb examples of a great economist using basic economics to make better sense of reality.

It’s notable that Milton Friedman chose to title his collection of Newsweek articles An Economist’s Protest.


By the way, the photograph that pops up at around the three-minute, 51-second mark – the one of several men sitting in a room talking – was taken at the University of Virginia (probably in Rouss Hall) in the early 1960s.  In it is perhaps as much great economics talent as has ever been captured in a single photo.  From left to right are Ronald Coase, Duncan Black, Jim Buchanan, James Ferguson, Warren Nutter, Gordon Tullock, and Leland Yeager.  (Unfortunately in the version shown in the video, most of Gordon and Leland are cut off from view.  In the original of this photo, or of one taken just moments before or after this one was snapped – and which today hangs in George Mason University’s Buchanan House – all of these great scholars are visible.)  All but Yeager (and perhaps Ferguson) are now deceased.

I don’t know who took this photo.  I know that the photographer isn’t Buchanan’s long-time assistant Betty Tillman, as she personally told me several years ago that she didn’t take it.  Betty remembered the photographer as Roger Garrison, but her usually solid memory was here incorrect as Roger did not arrive at UVA, to study under Yeager, until the mid-1970s.


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