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19 - Theory of the Corporation

from Part IV - Persons and Organizations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 April 2021

Stefan Grundmann
Affiliation:
European University Institute, Florence
Hans-W. Micklitz
Affiliation:
European University Institute, Florence
Moritz Renner
Affiliation:
Universität Mannheim, Germany
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Summary

This chapter deals with the role of corporations in private law. Private law relations have never been built on bilateral contracts alone. Collective actors in the form of corporations have always played an equally important role. To this extent, private law relations mirror the distinction between markets and organizations that is commonplace in economic theory (see Chapters 3 and 17). At the same time, the social role of corporations has always been subject to political and theoretical debate. Whereas, historically, early corporations have been granted legal personality by the political sovereign, the concept of legal personhood is nowadays founded on the principle of party autonomy.

Type
Chapter
Information
New Private Law Theory
A Pluralist Approach
, pp. 360 - 368
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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References

von Gierke, Otto, Die Genossenschaftstheorie und die deutsche Rechtsprechung (Hildesheim: Olms, 1887), pp. 603672 (English translation available on the book website)Google Scholar
Coase, Ronald H., ‘The Nature of the Firm’, 4 Economica, 386405(1937)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berle, Adolf A. and Means, Gardiner C., The Modern Corporation and Private Property (New York: Macmillan, 1947 (1932))Google Scholar
Grossman, Sanford D. and Hart, Oliver D., ‘The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration’, 94 Journal of Political Economy 691719 (1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jensen, Michael and Meckling, William, ‘Theory of the Firm: Managerial Behavior, Agency Costs and Ownership Structure’, 3 Journal of Financial Economics 305–60 (1976)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Saleilles, Raymond, De la personnalité juridique (Paris: Rousseau, 1910)Google Scholar

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