The Firm as an entity

Implications for Economics, Accounting and the Law

By Yuri Biondi, Arnaldo Canziani, Thierry Kirat.

Routledge. 12 April 2007

The book enhances current economic understanding of the firm as an institution and an organization, looking beyond the narrow boundaries of neoclassical economics to an interdisciplinary approach based on accounting and law as well as economics itself. It represents the first synthesis of the authors’ research work on the subject.

The recent crises in corporate governance and disclosure have highlighted the deficiencies and shortcomings of received approaches to the theory of the firm—the managerial and enforcement recommendations they advocate imply poor policy and sometimes huge economic and societal losses. This suggests the need for a new synthesis. Through new essays and valuable reprints, a host of eminent international contributors seek to provide new insights into the theory of the firm, utilising an interdisciplinary approach that integrates law and economics with accounting. This new perspective links the three disciplines through the synthetic notion of the firm as an entity, and wishes to create a deeper understanding of the organisational and institutional dimensions of the firm.

The Firm as an Entity will provide the reader with (i) general essays, that pay attention to these insightful lessons from the past that presently are at least partly neglected; (ii) specific essays, that contribute to the enhancement of the interdisciplinary perspective by exploring its consequences and implications for accounting, ontology, law and economics, business finance, and the governance of the firm as an enterprise entity; and (iii) reprints of often rare or neglected essays, by H. Simon, M. Shubik, R. Coase, A.A. Berle Jr., R.N. Anthony and J.H. Stauss, that allows the reader to rediscover the work of previous authors, issues and ideas, and that will prove to be fundamental to enhance the interdisciplinary approach offered by the collection.


Yuri Biondi is Associate Professor, Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM), Paris, France

Arnaldo Canziani is Professor of Economia Aziendale, Faculty of Law, University of Brescia, Italy

Thierry Kirat is Research Fellow, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France


Reuven S. Avi-Yonah is the Irwin I. Cohn Professor of Law, University of Michigan (USA)

David Gindis is Lecturer in Economics at Institut National des Sciences Appliquées (INSA), Lyon

Federico Manfrin is Assistant Researcher in Economics and Law at Brescia University (Italy)

Giuseppe Marzo is Researcher in Economia Aziendale at Brescia University (Italy)

Marc T. Moore is the “City Solicitors’ Educational Trust” Lecturer in Law, University of Bristol

Antoine Rebérioux is Associate Professor of Economics at University of Paris X (Nanterre)

Dganit Sivan is a SJD candidate at the University of Michigan (USA)

Olivier Weinstein is Professor in Economics at the University Paris 13, France


Part I: Introduction: the firm as an entity

1. Coming back to the enterprise entity

2. The economic theory of the firm as an entity: an overview of the volume

Part II: On the economic theory of the firm as an institution and an organization

Chapter 3. The current state of the economic theory of the firm: contractual, competence-based and beyond

Chapter 4. Organizations and markets

Chapter 5. Accounting and its relationship to generalequilibrium theory

Chapter 6. Accounting and the theory of the firm

Chapter 7. The impact of the corporation on classical economic theory

Part III: Perspectives for accounting, law and economics: lessons from the past

Chapter 8. Economia aziendale and Betriebwirtschaftslehre as autonomous sciences of the firm

Chapter 9. The firm between law and economics: an overview of selected legal-economic scholars of the past

Chapter 10. A historical perspective on corporate form and real entity: implications for corporate social responsibility

Chapter 11. The theory of enterprise entity

Chapter 12. The trouble with profit maximization 13. The entrepreneur: the firm

Part IV: Essays on economic, legal and accounting features of the firm as an entity

Chapter 14. Accounting and the economic nature of the firm as an entity

Chapter 15. Some building blocks for a theory of the firm as a real entity

Chapter 16. The firm as an entity and the law: the economic substance, the legal forms

Chapter 17. Economics and finance of the firm as an entity

Chapter 18. The corporate governance of the firm as an entity: old issues for the new debate

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