The Foundation of Corporate Personhood: A Look at the Charles River Bridge Case of 1837

Some 130 years before Friedman could begin arguing that a corporation’s sole responsibility was to make a profit for its shareholders, Boston’s Charles River Bridge Company had to convince the Supreme Court that corporations were private entities whose interests could diverge from the public interest. While it lost that case, the partial success of the Charles River Bridge Company’s reasoning with the court laid the foundations for corporate personhood as it exists today.  

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A Founder of the Blockchain Discusses New Research on Inherent Limitations to Bitcoin

In the latest Stigler Center working paper, Chicago Booth’s Eric Budish argues that game-theoretic constraints imply there are “intrinsic economic limits to how economically important [Bitcoin] can become.” In this review essay, W. Scott Stornetta—a co-inventor of the early blockchain—highlights the paper’s contributions while raising some exceptions with its broader generalizations.  

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Livestreaming Polluters to Enforce Environmental Policy: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Pittsburgh

Enforcing environmental regulations is controversial and can be costly. But researchers at UCLA and Carnegie Mellon have proposed a low-cost alternative for enforcement—disclosing emissions by live-streaming videos of pollution online—and here offer some preliminary evidence on how well it works.

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