Law and Economics of Corporate Governance: Shareholders, Stakeholders, and Beyond

11th Law and Economics Conference

Conference Programme

The traditional law and economics view of corporate governance emphasizes the profit-maximizing, shareholder-oriented nature of corporations. Mainstream corporate governance scholarship has therefore focused on the ways in which business organizations are legally structured and regulated to achieve efficient operation and minimize agency costs.

Over the last few decades, however, scholarship and public discourse alike began devoting increased attention to the role and interests of other corporate stakeholders, such as employees, consumers, or the communities within which businesses operate. Some of this research advances arguments about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), a multi-faceted concept that covers a wide array of issues considered by private businesses looking to advance ethics-based interests, including working conditions, human rights, fair competition, the environment, and more.

Most recently, related concerns and values, with a particular focus on the sustainability of business organizations, have garnered much attention under the banner of ESG, an acronym that stands for the environmental, social, and governance aspects of corporate conduct and performance.

While some scholars and many institutions support CSR or ESG as desirable responses to issues such as environmental threats or social inequality, others believe that these approaches ultimately fail to benefit stakeholders and could impose high costs on businesses and the economy at large. An additional issue is that CSR or ESG can become strategic devices for businesses to avoid state regulation.

Therefore, this conference aims to analyse the foundational principles and merits of CSR or ESG approaches by employing a law and economics perspective.

Participation is free (coffee breaks included).
Please register no later than 10 March 2024 via email to

The conference is organized by Prof. Dr. Klaus Mathis, University of Lucerne, in collaboration with the Center for Corporate Governance at Harvard Law School, and Notre Dame Law School.