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Research Canons

Books and articles that are essential to a new academic in various areas of legal inquiry as suggested by contributors to PrawfsBlawg.


  1.  Steven Bainbridge, Corporate Law and Economics (2002) (suggested by Matt Bodie).
  2. Lucian A. Bebchuk &  Jesse M. Fried, Pay without Performance (2004) (suggested by Matt Bodie).
  3. Adolf Berle & Gardiner C. Means, The Modern Corporation and Private Property (1932) (suggested by Matt Bodie).
  4. Robert Charles Clark, Corporate Law (1986) (suggested by Matt Bodie).
  5. Frank H. Easterbrook & Daniel R. Fischel, The Economic Structure of Corporate Law (1991) (suggested by Matt Bodie).
  6. Henry Hansmann, The Ownership of Enterprise (1996) (suggested by Matt Bodie).
  7. Michael C. Jensen & W. H. Meckling, Theory of the Firm: Managerial Behavior, Agency Costs and Ownership Structure (1976) (suggested by Matt Bodie).
  8. Progressive Corporate Law (Mitchell ed., 1995) ( a "minority critique" canon; suggested by Matt Bodie).
  9. Lawrence A. Mitchell, Corporate Irresponsibility: America's Newest Export  (2001) (a "minority critique" canon; suggested by Matt Bodie).
  10. Roberta Romano, The Genius of American Corporate Law (1993) (suggested by Matt Bodie).
  11. Foundations of Corporate Law (Romano ed. Foundation Press) (excerpts from the "canon" -- Malkiel's Random Walk, Jensen & Meckling's Theory of the Firm, etc.; suggested by Christine Hunt). 
  12. Oliver E. Williamson, The Mechanisms of Governance (1996) (suggested by Matt Bodie).
  13. Oliver E. Williamson, The Economic Institutions of Capitalism (1985) (suggested by Matt Bodie).


  1. Margaret M. Blair & Lynn A. Stout, A Team Production Theory of Corporate Law, 85 Va. L. Rev. 247 (1999) (a "minority critique" canon; suggested by Matt Bodie). 
  2. William W. Bratton, Enron and the Dark Side of Shareholder Value, 76 Tul. L. Rev. 1275 (2002) (a "minority critique" canon; suggested by Matt Bodie). 
  3. R. H. Coase, The Nature of the Firm, 4 Economica 386 (1937) (suggested by Matt Bodie).  
  4. E.F. Fama, Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work, 25 J. Fin. 383 (1970) (suggested by Matt Bodie). 
  5. Ronald Gilson, Value Creation by Business Lawyers: Legal Skills and Asset Pricing, 94 Yale L.J. 239 (1984) (suggested by Christine Hunt).
  6. Ronald J. Gilson & Reinier H. Kraakman, The Mechanisms of Market Efficiency, 70 Va. L. Rev. 549 (1984) (suggested by Matt Bodie). 
  7. Henry Hansmann & Reinier Kraakman, The End of History of Corporate Law, 89 Geo. L.J. 439 (2001) (suggested by Matt Bodie). 
  8. Donald C. Langevoort, Taming the Animal Spirits of the Stock Markets: A Behavioral Approach to Securities Regulation, 97 Nw. U. L. Rev. 135 (2002) And I would add the following for a "minority critique" canon (suggested by Matt Bodie).
  9. Roberta Romano, The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Making of Quack Corporate Governance, 114 Yale L. J. 1521 (2005) (suggested by Matt Bodie).