Arthur Andersen UCLA Alumni Emeritus Professor of Business Economics


Biographical Sketch as of June 2012


Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1930, Professor Demsetz received a BA degree from the University of Illinois in 1953, MBA (1954) and Ph.D. (1959) degrees from Northwestern University. His teaching career began at the University of Michigan in 1958 and continued at the University of California at Los Angeles until 1963. In 1963 he joined the faculty of the University of Chicago, where he remained until 1971, returning in that year to the University of California. He chaired UCLA' s Department of Economics from 1978 through 1980. From 1984 to 1995, he held the Arthur Andersen UCLA Alumni Chair in Business Economics and Directed UCLA's Business Economics program. 


He is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, past director of the Mont Pelerin Society, and past (1996) President of the Western Economics Association International. Northwestern University, in 1994, awarded him an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters, and, in 1996, he received an Honorary Doctorate in Social Science from Francisco Marroquin University. Drexel University, in 2012, honored his work on corporate governance, and, in the same year, the University of California Los Angeles honored his work across all disciplines. His name appears in Who’s Who in America and similar directories.


Listed in Mark Blaugh's Great Economists Since Keynes, his works are focused on property rights, the business firm, problems in monopoly, competition, and antitrust. He has also published work on bioeconomics. The recipient of the Western Economics Association Distinguished Teaching Award in 1981, he is the author of numerous articles, two published monographs, and five books The article he co-authored (with Armen A. Alchian) ‘Production, Information Costs, and Economic Organization,’ (AER, 62(5),1972) was selected by the American Economic Association as one of the 25 most important papers published in the 100 year history of the AER. His third book,The Economics of the Business Firm (Cambridge University Press,1995) has been translated into Spanish and Chinese.  His most recent book is From Economic Man to Economic System (2009) Cambridge University Press.