Williamson, Oliver Eaton, 1932–, American economist, b. Superior, Wisc., Ph.D. Carnegie-Mellon Univ., 1963. He has served on the faculties of Univ. of California, Berkeley (1963–65, 1988–2004, emeritus 2004–), the Univ. of Pennsylvania (1965–83), and Yale (1983–88). Williamson has 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.
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