Scholarly analysis of corporate law in the United States has come to be dominated by an economic approach. Professor Hill and Professor McDonnell here discuss seminal articles which represent major milestones along the road that economics has traveled in coming to play this central role in corporate law scholarship. The focus is on the analysis of corporate law, drawing mainly upon legal scholarship and particularly on US scholarship, which is the originator of the application of modern economic analysis to corporate law and has had much influence in other countries.
Beginning with several of the key works on the economics of the firm which have most heavily influenced legal scholarship, the review explores the central legal role of the board of directors and state competition for corporate charters. It further considers the role of hostile takeovers and board defenses against them and the effectiveness of shareholder suits and other agency mechanisms.