Corporate Personhood & Corporate Purpose: A Response to Carly Knight

Corporate Personhood & Corporate Purpose: A Response to Carly Knight

In a recent post, Carly Knight argues that resuscitating the vision of the corporation as a “creation of the state” is an important part of reclaiming the progressive argument for increased corporate accountability. In this response, Dan Rohde suggests that, rather than subscribe to one unified theory of “the corporation,” progressives would be better served by attending to the roles and purposes that the huge variety of legal entities play in our society, and determining their rights, protections, and powers accordingly.

France illuminated at night

Energy Price Shocks and the Failures of Neoliberalism

The global energy price shocks of the past two years have made it painfully clear that energy cannot be treated as an ordinary commodity. They also offer an opportunity to rethink the push to liberalize energy markets over the past forty years, and particularly the use of markets for electricity provisioning.

How the Corporation Lost Its Image as a “Creature of State”

How the Corporation Lost Its Image as a “Creature of State”

Previously recognized as quasi-public institutions whose shareholders received corporate privileges in exchange for the fulfillment of public goods, corporations are today primarily understood to be private economic actors. This conceptual shift is in some ways quite puzzling. Despite the changing nature of the relationship between states and corporations throughout the 19th century, corporate business entities always, in practice, remained embedded in state and political institutions. How, then, did the image of the corporation as a “creature” or a “creation” of the state come to be replaced with an understanding of the corporation as a “pure creature of the market”?

Who’s Afraid of Public Ownership?

Who’s Afraid of Public Ownership?

Despite growing interest in public ownership at the municipal and even national level, LPE scholars have expressed relatively little interest in the topic. This is a mistake: proposals for public ownership can unite the left by achieving multiple policy goals at once and provide an alternative vision of what society should look like.

Economic Democracy at Work

Economic Democracy at Work

Workers should have enough representation on corporate boards to influence major decision making. Questions of institutional design should not stand in the way of this common sense reform.

Government Failures and Private Options

Government Failures and Private Options

Increasingly progressives are championing “public options” as a response to various market failures. Public options in the all-important health care space stand in for old-school regulation of private providers and old-school redistribution (to better support those struggling to pay for private insurance and medical services). Public options in banking, likewise championed by leading progressives, work substantially…

Woke Capital?

Woke Capital?

Anti-monopolists are right to worry about the concentrated power of institutional investors, but they are wrong to treat them as all bad. Common ownership presents an opportunity for the left to divide the interests of capitalists.