Economics And Standards: Sharing The Cost Of Doing Business

Robert E. Parks

One could reasonably ask, "What does a recent Nobel Prize in Economics have to do with optical standards"? This month, we explore the connections between the two. As you may have read, the English born and educated economist, Ronald H. Coase, now a University of Chicago professor, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in mid-October. The award was the based primarily on two short papers, "The Theory of the Firm" and "The Problem of Social Cost." While neither paper has anything to do with standards per se, the arguments in both apply directly to the business consequences of using standards.

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