Harold Demsetz the great Chicago school economist (who spent much of his career at UCLA) passed away on 4 January this year. He was 88. Unfortunately and inexplicably he never won the economics Nobel (in this he joins Armen Alchian and William Baumol).
Demsetz was my masters thesis supervisor’s PhD supervisor – so I got to read a lot of Demsetz’ writings. My masters thesis was on asset-pricing theory and I’d say, “I don’t think Demsetz wrote anything on asset pricing” and my supervisor would say, “I’m sure you’ll learn something useful from reading Harold”. I did learn a lot from reading Demsetz and I often re-read his works and still teach some of his papers in my courses.