Henry Manne, Academic Entrepreneur

21 February 2008 at 3:38 pm Leave a comment

| Peter Klein |

Henry Manne did as much as anyone to create the modern discipline of law and economics. I refer here not only to his scholarly contributions, particularly his work on the market for corporate control and on insider trading, but also his creation of institutions (such as the original Law and Economics Center at the University of Miami) to support the emerging field. So it’s nice to see this essay by Larry Ribstein, “Henry Manne: Intellectual Entrepreneur,” coming out in Pioneers of Law and Economics edited by LLoyd Cohen and Josh Wright. (Via Josh.)

Writing when there was a theory vacuum in legal academia, Manne breathed life into corporate law by using economic principles to formulate a sweeping new theory of the corporation. Then he took his show on the road with seminars, programs and ultimately a law school to create a market for his ideas. The Chapter shows that Manne was an entrepreneur not only in bringing people and ideas together, but also in the Schumpeterian sense Manne discussed in his work on insider trading — an active participant in the creative destruction of the existing paradigm rather than merely a manager of existing ideas. Manne’s career demonstrates that, under the right conditions, a single scholar can leave noticeable ripples in the stream of intellectual history. By demonstrating that corporations, and by inference other important institutions, are best analyzed in market terms, and by creating an intellectual market for these and other economic ideas, Manne changed the way scholars, judges, regulators and others think about the role of law in society.

See also this Manne essay on the emergence of the field. And these papers by my former student Alex Padilla on insider trading. (And these cool gowns worn by the examiners at Alex’s dissertation defense at l’Université d’Aix en Provence.)

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Corporate Governance, Institutions, Law and Economics, People.

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