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Towards a Political Theory of the Firm

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  • Zingales, Luigi

Abstract

Neoclassical theory assumes that firms have no power of fiat any different from ordinary market contracting, thus a fortiori no power to influence the rules of the game. In the real world, firms have such power. I argue that the more firms have market power, the more they have both the ability and the need to gain political power. Thus, market concentration can easily lead to a “Medici vicious circle, where money is used to get political power and political power is used to make money.

Suggested Citation

  • Zingales, Luigi, 2017. "Towards a Political Theory of the Firm," CEPR Discussion Papers 12158, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12158
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972. "Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-795, December.
    2. Henry G. Manne, 1965. "Mergers and the Market for Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 110-110.
    3. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2001. "The Firm as a Dedicated Hierarchy: A Theory of the Origins and Growth of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 805-851.
    4. Stephen Ansolabehere & John M. de Figueiredo & James M. Snyder, 2003. "Why Is There So Little Money in Politics?," NBER Working Papers 9409, 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. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    7. Aghion, Philippe & Akcigit, Ufuk & Howitt, Peter, 2014. "What Do We Learn From Schumpeterian Growth Theory?," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 515-563 Elsevier.
    8. Jeffrey R. Brown & Jiekun Huang, 2017. "All the President’s Friends: Political Access and Firm Value," NBER Working Papers 23356, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1998. "Power in a Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 387-432.
    10. Stephen Ansolabehere & John M. de Figueiredo & James M. Snyder Jr, 2003. "Why is There so Little Money in U.S. Politics?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 105-130, Winter.
    11. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
    12. Henry G. Manne, 1965. "Mergers and the Market for Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 351-351.
    13. John Haltiwanger, 2016. "Firm Dynamics and Productivity: TFPQ, TFPR, and Demand Side Factors," ECONOMIA JOURNAL, THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2016), pages 3-26, October.
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    1. repec:eee:indorg:v:55:y:2017:i:c:p:182-189 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Concentration; Lobbying; Theory of the firm;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General

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