'Love Me, Love Me Not'. The Complicated Affair between Classical Economics and American Corporations during the Gilded Age

35 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2017

See all articles by Nicola Giocoli

Nicola Giocoli

University of Pisa - Department of Law

Date Written: April 14, 2017

Abstract

In the last quarter of the 19th century, several economists and jurists raised their voices against the growing corporatization of the American economy. Among them, featured also classical economists and classical jurists – a surprising circumstance given the unconditional favor that scholars imbued with classical ideas should allegedly bestow on any manifestation of business freedom and entrepreneurial spirit. Most law historians frame the troubled relationship between classical economics and the corporation in terms of the doctrinal and jurisprudential controversies about the true nature of corporations that surrounded the Supreme Court’s ruling in Santa Clara (1886). The paper casts new light by making recourse to the history of economic thought to uncover those aspects of classical economics that made it almost impossible for its supporters to unreservedly love the corporation.

Keywords: classical economics, corporation, Santa Clara, grant theory, partnership theory, entity theory, limited liability, free competition, freedom of contract, asset partitioning

JEL Classification: B12, G39, K20

Suggested Citation

Giocoli, Nicola, 'Love Me, Love Me Not'. The Complicated Affair between Classical Economics and American Corporations during the Gilded Age (April 14, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2952717 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2952717

Nicola Giocoli (Contact Author)

University of Pisa - Department of Law ( email )

via Collegio Ricci 10
Pisa PI, 56126
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://https://pisa.academia.edu/NicolaGiocoli

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
115
Abstract Views
904
rank
308,212
PlumX Metrics