Print/PDF this page:

Print Friendly and PDF

Share this page:

Research Interests

Henry Hansmann – Research Projects

(1) A historical study of the interplay of law and economics, over the past 2500 years, in creating the basic legal infrastructure for commercial firms.  The first major fruit of this effort will be an article, titled Law and the Rise of the Firm, to be published in the Harvard Law Review in 2006; (2) An effort to understand the general role played  by law, as opposed to contract, in the organization of enterprise.  Among the prospective fruits of this project are an article, tentatively titled Contract and Corporation, dealing with the reasons why corporate charters so rarely deviate from the basic default structures provided by statutory law, and another essay, addressed principally to economists, tentatively titled The Role of Law in Enterprise Organization, intended for the forthcoming Handbook of Organizational Economics edited by Robert Gibbons and John Roberts; an essay, tentatively titled Exit, Voice, and Liability, coauthored with Reinier Kraakman, exploring the relationships among the three mechanisms by which members of organizations control managers; (3) An exploration of the very different legal regimes used in the United States to police corporate governance in nonprofit corporations as opposed to business corporations, seeking the reasons for the differences and emphasizing the similarity between the American approach to nonprofit corporations and the European approach to business corporations; (4) An article, coauthored with Richard Squire and perhaps others, offering an economic model of the comparative advantages of various fundamental structures of creditors’ rights in business organizations; (5)  A book on the economic organization of higher education in the United States and throughout the world.