Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, talks about the economics of organizations with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. The conversation centers on Shirky’s book. Topics include Coase on the theory of the firm, the power of sharing information on the internet, the economics of altruism, and the creation of Wikipedia.
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Nobel Laureate Ronald Coase of the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his career, the current state of economics, and the Chinese economy. Coase, born in 1910, reflects on his youth, his two great papers, "The Nature of the Firm" and "The Problem of Social Cost". At the end of conversation he discusses his new book on China, How China Became Capitalist (co-authored with Ning Wang), and the future of the Chinese and world economies.
Clay Shirky’s lucid and penetrating analysis will steer us through the online social explosion and ask what happens when people are given the tools to do things together, without needing traditional organisational structures.
Clay Shirky is one of the new culture’s wisest observers. He will argue that the dramatic improvement in our social tools makes our control over them much like steering a kayak; we are being pushed rapidly down a route largely determined by the technological environment.
We have a small degree of control over the spread of these tools, but that control does not extend to being able to reverse, stop, or even radically alter the direction we’re moving in.
The question now is therefore not whether the spread of these social tools is good or bad, but rather what the impact will be, for better or for worse.
Clay Shirky on institutions vs. collaboration