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Business Persons – A Legal Theory of the Firm - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Business Persons: A Legal Theory of the Firm

Eric W. Orts


This book explains the legal structure of business firms as they operate in the world today. It describes the legal foundations or “matrix” from which all firms are built, managed, and governed. The legal theory of the firm presented here provides a counterweight to the currently dominant economic approaches to understanding firms. The book describes how business enterprises work, the laws governing them, and how they change over time in terms of their institutional purposes and values. Basic legal ideas emphasized in the book include the “real fictions” of firms, the role of constructed “enti ... More

Keywords: theories of the firm, business enterprises, legal persons, legal entities, legal fictions, boundaries of firms, limited liability, corporations, hybrid social enterprises, executive compensation, Citizens United

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780199670918
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670918.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Eric W. Orts, author
Guardsmark Professor, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania