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Williamson, Oliver Eaton

Williamson, Oliver Eaton, 1932–2020, American economist, b. Superior, Wis., Ph.D. Carnegie-Mellon Univ., 1963. He served on the faculties of Univ. of California, Berkeley (1963–65, 1988–2004, emeritus from 2004), the Univ. of Pennsylvania (1965–83), and Yale (1983–88). Inspired by the earlier work of Ronald Coase, Williamson compared the economic workings of markets and nonmarkets, such as business firms and other hierarchical organizations, contrasting their benefits and drawbacks, and developing a theory concerning how companies promote conflict resolution in situations involving limited competition. He shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Elinor Ostrom in 2009 for his work. His works include Markets and Hierarchies (1975) and The Economic Institutions of Capitalism (1985).

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