Research Handbooks in Law and Economics series
Edited by Claire A. Hill and Brett H. McDonnell
Chapter 1: Introduction: The Evolution of the Economic Analysis of Corporate Law
Claire A. Hill and Brett H. McDonnell 1. INTRODUCTION Economic analysis plays a crucial role in contemporary scholarly writing on corporate law. Indeed, although doctrinal analysis remains important and other interdisciplinary perspectives can occasionally be seen, economic analysis dominates most current corporate law scholarship. Sometimes the economics involves formal mathematical modeling; increasingly frequently, it involves econometric data analysis, while even more frequently it takes a softer, more informal form. Still, whatever the form, there is usually some reliance on ideas drawn from economics. Thus, a research handbook on the economics of corporate law is hard to distinguish from a research handbook on corporate law, period. And indeed, in this volume we have felt little need to try to make that distinction. The collected contributions give an overview of some of the leading lines of research that scholars today are pursuing in trying to understand and critique legal developments in corporate law. This volume is part of a new series of Research Handbooks in Law and Economics, directed by Francesco Parisi and Judge Richard Posner. As the editors of an earlier volume said, ‘[e]ach volume in the series aims to serve as a reference, providing helpful introductions to important topics, and as a provocateur, suggesting weaknesses and important areas for further exploration.’ (Farber & O’Connell 2010, 1) We hope that several different audiences will find this volume useful. Scholars in the field can look to it for a useful gathering of leading research, and also for suggestions as to possible directions...