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“So Long As Corporate Managers See Their Objective as Maximizing Returns, Rent-Seeking and Regulatory Capture Will Persist”

In this installment of ProMarket’s new interview series on the economic theory of the firm, Harvard Business School professor Lynn Paine discusses the role of corporations and the need to reform capitalism. “Business schools generally do a poor job educating their students about the role of government and business-government relations.”  

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“The Ability of Companies to Subvert the Operating Rules for the Market is a Deep, Systematic, Durable Force”

In this installment of ProMarket’s new interview series, we ask Harvard Business School professor Herman “Dutch” Leonard about the involvement of corporations in politics and his thoughts on the Trump presidency. “Globalization, rent-seeking, and regulatory capture are not unrelated to one another.”  

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“Under President Trump and the Republican Congress, Banks Will Have Even More Ability to Write Regulations That Favor Them”

In this installment of ProMarket’s new interview series on the economic theory of the firm, we ask University of Connecticut law professor and blogger James Kwak if the existing theory should be modified. “Corporations tend to favor policies that allow greater concentration and reduce constraints on their behavior.”

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Bengt Holmstrom. © Bryce Vickmark. All rights reserved.

Bengt Holmstrom: “I’m More Concerned About the Economic Power of the Most Valuable Companies Than Their Political Power”

In this installment of ProMarket’s new interview series, Nobel laureate Bengt Holmstrom says “this may be the right time to look at political engagement by corporations” and discusses the recent wave of populist discontent. “It is clearly a time of change and we will be forced to rethink how we can reaffirm our commitment to democracy.”  

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“Political Engagement by Corporations Would Be Far Down the List of Forces Responsible for Popular Discontent”

The third installment in ProMarket’s new interview series on the economic theory of the firm. In this installment, we ask Chicago Booth’s Steven Kaplan how the existing theory should be modified, if at all. “The biggest source of populist discontent is the dislocation caused by technological change and globalization.”  

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Theory of the Firm Interview Series: John Van Reenen

The second installment in ProMarket’s new interview series: Should the economic theory of the firm be modified? If so, how? In this installment, we ask MIT’s John Van Reenen. “Since markets in the U.S. and other advanced countries have become increasingly concentrated in the hands of a smaller number of “superstar” firms, the ability of such firms to influence market rules has also strengthened.”

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Interview Series: How Incomplete is the Theory of the Firm? Q&A with Daniel Carpenter

Should the economic theory of the firm be modified? If so, how? In March, the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Harvard Business School, and Oxford University will organize a conference to answer these questions and more. Ahead of the conference, we are launching an interview series with influential scholars in the field. In the first installment, Daniel Carpenter of Harvard University answers our questions: “the profitability and survival prospects of many firms in the coming years will depend heavily, in a polarized environment, on the political skills of managers.”

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Is There a Crisis in the Economic Theory of the Firm? Participants at Harvard Business School Conference Agree: Firms Try to Change the Rules of the Game

A novel conference at Harvard Business School brought together top scholars in order to answer the question: Is Milton Friedman’s dictum that firms that maximize shareholder value maximize social value as well still relevant in a post-Citizens United world?  

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