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Oliver Williamson was Edgar F. Kaiser Professor Emeritus of Business, Economics and Law at the University of California at Berkeley and, in 2009, was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for his work in transaction cost economics, where he drew attention to equivalences and differences between market and non-market decision making, management, and service provisions. Professor Williamson earned an S.B from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.B.A. from Stanford University (1960) and Ph.D. from Carnegie-Mellon University (Economics, 1963). Prior to his appointment at Berkeley, he served as a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and at Yale University, where he taught economics and law.
Other awards and fellowships included: Distinguished Fellow, American Economic Society (2007); Distinguished Fellow, Industrial Organization Society; Honorary Society Member, National Academy of Sciences (1994); Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1983); Fellow, Econometrics Society (1977); Honorary Degrees: Doctoris Honoris Causa in Economics, Valencia University (2004); Doctoris Honoris Causa in Economics, University of Chile (2000); Doctoris Honoris Causa in Economics from Nice University (2005), Valencia University (2004), and University of Chile (2000); Honorary Doctorate in Economics and Business Administration, Copenhagen Business School (2000); Doctor Honoris Causa, Goupe HEC (Paris) (1997); Doctor Honoris Causa in Business Administration, St. Petersburg University, Russia (1997); Doctor Honoris Causa in Economics, Turku School of Economics and Business Administration (1995); Doctor Honoris Causa in Economics Science, Groningen University (1989), Hochschule St. Gallen (1987); Oeconomiae Doctor Honoris Causa, Ph.D. Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Jubilee Celebration (1986).
Professor Williamson also received the following additional awards: Horst Claus Rechtenwald Prize in Economics (2004); Eminent Scholar of the Fellows of the Academy of International Business (2003); John von Neumann Award, Laszio Rajk College for Advanced Studies, Budapest University (1999); Irwin Award for Scholarly Contributions to Management, Academy of Management (1988); 1983 Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in Law and Economics, Miami University. He also held the following fellowships: Fulbright Scholar (1999); Distinguished Senior U.S. Scientist Award, Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung (1987); Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences (1977-78); Guggenheim Fellow (1977-78).
Professor Williamson wrote several books, including: The Mechanisms of Governance (1996); The Economic Institutions of Capitalism: Firms, Markets, Relational Contracting (1985); Markets and Hierarchies: Analysis and Antitrust Implications (1975); Corporate Control and Business Behavior: An Inquiry into the Effects of Organization Form on Enterprise Behavior (1970). His books were translated into eight different languages. He also served as the editor or on the board of editors for several journals, including the Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization—where he was an Honorary Founding editor—, Organization Science, and the Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance.