Feb 19, 2013 :: Esteemed Economist Armen Alchian died today, February 19, 2013.
Armen Alchian (April 12, 1914 - February 19. 2013) received his BA from Stanford in 1936, and his PhD from Stanford under the supervision of Allen Wallis in 1944. After a stint at Rand, he started at UCLA in 1946, and spent his entire career there.
Alchian was a major figure in the development of the New Institutional Economics. His classic 1972 article with Harold Demsetz helped kick off an enormous body of work on the theory of the firm, as well as the incentive problems involved in team production. Subsequently with Ben Klein and Robert Crawford, he advanced the hypothesis that integration decisions between firms are often driven by the desire to avoid holdup problems associated with incomplete contracting, one of the foundational ideas in transaction cost economics.
Alchian also made significant contributions to the theory of uncertainty and information, and to many areas of microeconomics and price theory. He was a Fellow of the American Academy of Sciences and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association.
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