IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Secret of Growth Is Financing Secrets: Corporate Law and Growth Economics

  • Robert Cooter
  • Hans Bernd Sch�fer
Registered author(s):

    Innovative businesses unite capital and new ideas, which requires overcoming the double trust dilemma: investors fear losing their wealth and innovators fear losing their ideas. To overcome this dilemma, seventeenth-century spice traders invented the joint stock company with an essential feature of modern corporations: entitlements to marketable shares of future profits. Using the corporate form, innovative business ventures can often be organized so that innovators expect to earn more from their share of profits than from stealing the investors' money, and investors expect to earn more by preserving the company's secrets than by disseminating them. The corporation thus provides a protected space for holding creative secrets while developing them. By developing the innovations that transform economies, the corporation became the dominant economic form of business organization.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal The Journal of Law and Economics.

    Volume (Year): 54 (2011)
    Issue (Month): S4 ()
    Pages: S105 - S123

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/663095
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Oren Bar-Gill & Michal Barzuza & Lucian Bebchuk, 2006. "The Market for Corporate Law," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 162(1), pages 134-160, March.
    2. Nenova, Tatiana, 2003. "The value of corporate voting rights and control: A cross-country analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 325-351, June.
    3. Black, Bernard & Kim, Woochan, 2011. "The effect of board structure on firm value: a multiple identification strategies approach using Korean data," MPRA Paper 40283, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Craig Doidge & G. Andrew Karolyi & Rene M. Stulz, 2001. "Why are Foreign Firms Listed in the U.S. Worth More?," NBER Working Papers 8538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    6. Hans-Werner Sinn, 1996. "Social insurance, incentives and risk taking," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 259-280, July.
    7. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1840, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    8. Bengt Holmstrom & John Roberts, 1998. "The Boundaries of the Firm Revisited," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 73-94, Fall.
    9. Bruce Kogut & Udo Zander, 1993. "Knowledge of the Firm and the Evolutionary Theory of the Multinational Corporation," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 24(4), pages 625-645, December.
    10. Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/663095. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.