2023 Alumni Award for Outstanding Achievement: Paulo Furquim de Azevedo

The Ronald Coase Institute Award for Outstanding Achievement recognizes annually the graduate of the Institute's workshops who best exemplifies the impact of the Institute’s training and continuing scholarly support.

The award includes a $1,000 prize and a trophy of recognition. It was created through the ideas and generosity of an admirer of the Institute. Final decisions are made by the Board of Directors.

The winner of the 2023 award for Outstanding Achievement is Paulo Furquim de Azevedo (2001 Berkeley, 2001 Rio, 2002 St. Louis workshops). He accepted the award during the Coase Institute gala dinner in Chicago, Il, USA on June 28, 2024.

2023 alumni award winner - Paulo Furquim de Azevedo

About Paulo Furquim de Azevedo

Paulo Furquim de Azevedo holds the Martinez-Goldberg Family Chair in Law and Economics at Insper, Sao Paulo, Brazil. He also serves as Director of the Center for Regulation and Democracy there, and earlier was its Dean of Teaching and Learning. He has published extensively internationally and in the leading journals in Brazil. His research has reached large audiences: Google Scholar currently reports over 5,000 citations to his work.

In addition, de Azevedo has held various influential positions in Brazil. He was a commissioner for the Brazilian Competition Agency (CADE) from 2006-2009. He served as its Acting President in 2008. He has also influenced policy in Brazil through his extensive expert testimony on issues involving competition and regulation. He writes a weekly column "Law and Economics under Coase's Lens" commmenting on new bills, regulation and competition. He has been a leading advocate for systematically examining alternative forms of economic coordination.

To further the study of institutions, he has served as a member of the organizing committee for eight Brazilian Research Workshops on Institutions and Organization.

Early on, de Azevedo participated in the very first Coase Institute workshop, plus two more. He later served as faculty for three workshops. He is a member of the advisory board for the Coase Institute book series with Cambridge University Press, and the advisory board for the Coase Institute research grant program.

Acceptance Speech by Paulo Furquim de Azevedo

It’s hard to find the words to express how honored and grateful I am to receive the Alumni Award for Outstanding Achievement. I am honored by everything this award represents and to be alongside such a distinguished group of exceptional researchers. Beyond honor, I am immensely grateful for the immeasurable contributions of the Ronald Coase Institute to my academic and professional journey.

My association with the RCI began in 2001, during the first workshop just before the ISNIE Annual Conference in Berkeley, CA. Since then, I have had the fortune of participating in various RCI activities as a student, researcher, and later as faculty. This journey has been both enlightening and transformative. As economists, we understand the complexity of assessing causality—or imagining what my (non-observed) life would be like without the RCI. Despite this caveat, I am certain that the workshops have played a pivotal role in shaping my academic and professional trajectory.

Through the RCI workshops and ISNIE Conferences, we had the privilege of interacting with brilliant minds such as Doug North, Oliver Williamson, Elinor Ostrom, among many others, not to mention our beacon, Ronald Coase. For a young scholar from Brazil, it was like a dream. These interactions were not only inspiring but also instrumental in building an international community with a shared methodology and a continuous commitment to the growth of fellow researchers, regardless of their career stage. From these experiences, I learned how to identify relevant research questions and develop new hypotheses through an institutional perspective. The workshops also honed my ability to communicate complex ideas effectively to diverse audiences, whether through writing, oral presentations, or keynote speeches. These skills have significantly enhanced my ability to disseminate knowledge beyond the academic audience.

My professional experience as Commissioner and acting president of the Brazilian Competition Authority was also greatly influenced by what I learned from the RCI network. The ability to articulate ideas effectively and apply the institutional lens to analyze competition issues distinguished me as a commissioner. For instance, while traditional competition experts are often wary of contracts blending cooperation and competition, the Coasean perspective enabled me to understand these as alternative forms of economic coordination. This insight allowed me to provide innovative solutions, backed by logical and empirical foundations, and to communicate them effectively to my colleagues.

I must express my profound gratitude to Mary Shirley, Alexandra, and Lee Benham for their inspiring leadership throughout this journey. I feel deeply indebted for the remarkable opportunities I have received and remain an enthusiastic advocate of their work. These sentiments are widely shared within our research community. Many alumni and former faculty members, like myself, volunteer their time and energy to support the initiatives of the Ronald Coase Institute, driven by a shared commitment to preserve and amplify its profound impact.

In closing, I want to emphasize that the RCI has been a guiding light in my academic and professional life, as a lighthouse—a public good privately funded, to quote one of Coase’s papers. The lessons, relationships, and sense of purpose I have gained through my association with the RCI continue to shape my career, and I eagerly anticipate the opportunities for continued collaboration and growth that lie ahead.