Competition, Corporate Responsibility, and the China Question

7 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2008 Last revised: 3 May 2009

See all articles by Joseph Vining

Joseph Vining

University of Michigan Law School

Date Written: October 10, 2008


"Corporate responsibility" is not a peripheral matter. It is at the core of all decision-making on behalf of business corporations under American law. This paper examines the effort to add an exemption for "business" in corporate form to the exemptions from ordinary responsibility that are seen in other areas of activity - e.g., for the military, for lawyers in adversarial litigation, or for investigators in scientific research. It looks at a number of well known cases and points to the often neglected relevance of both the criminal law applicable to corporations as such, and the evolving professional responsibility of corporate lawyers to question or publicize decisions of corporate agents that exclude substantive value from concern. The paper ends with a discussion of the relation between competition and substantive value and the impact of the rise of China as a participant in the world economy.

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility, law and economics, business law, corporate law, company law, business corporation, corporate crime, profit maximization, wealth maximization, competition, American Law Institute, Principles of Corporate Governance, Chinese corporate law, business in China, World Trad

JEL Classification: A14, F00, F30, K00, K22

Suggested Citation

Vining, Joseph, Competition, Corporate Responsibility, and the China Question (October 10, 2008). Law Quadrangle Notes, Vol. 45, No. 3, pp. 83-88, 2003, U of Michigan Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 08-020, U of Michigan Public Law Working Paper No. 130, Available at SSRN:

Joseph Vining (Contact Author)

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States

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