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University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Legal History

Welfare economics

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Separation Of Corporate Law And Social Welfare, William W. Bratton Jan 2017

The Separation Of Corporate Law And Social Welfare, William W. Bratton

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A half century ago, corporate legal theory pursued an institutional vision in which corporations and the law that creates them protect people from the ravages of volatile free markets. That vision was challenged on the ground during the 1980s, when corporate legal institutions and market forces came to blows over questions concerning hostile takeovers. By 1990, it seemed like the institutions had won. But a different picture has emerged as the years have gone by. It is now clear that the market side really won the battle of the 1980s, succeeding in entering a wedge between corporate law and social …


The Limits Of Preference-Based Legal Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 1994

The Limits Of Preference-Based Legal Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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America's political institutions are built on the principle that individual preferences are central to the formation of policy. The two most important institutions in our system, democracy and the market, make individual preference decisive in the formation of policy and the allocation of resources. American legal traditions have always reflected the centrality of preference in policy determination. In private law, the importance of preference is reflected mainly in the development and persistence of common-law rules, which are intended to facilitate private transactions over legal entitlements. In constitutional law, the centrality of preference is reflected in the high position we assign …