January 25, 2010
Are We Still Wondering If Corporations Are Persons?
Posted by David Zaring

I'm not, but Justin Fox is, in light of the recent Citizens United decision over at his new digs at the Harvard Business Review.  Felix Salmon applauds him here.  It is useful for corporations to be able to enter into contracts, and I still do not doubt that limited liability has value, even social value.  Undoing corporate personhood is fun for utopians to imagine, but what corporate personhood really offers business is decidedly more prosaic than Frankensteinian empire-building.  It is the ability to create a payroll, to issue stock, to take risk, and to participate in all the minutia of ordinary business as a nexus of contracts that can itself contract.  And those prosaic values are not nothing.

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