Interviewer: Professor Hart,
thank you very much for sparing the time today.
We're going to be discussing
your paper with Luigi Zingales,
called: Companies Should Maximize
Shareholder Welfare, not Market Value.
This was published in the Journal of Law,
and Accounting, 2017, issue 2, pages 247 to 274.
The reason I say that is that we
don't want to make things easy for
the listener to this interview by
not having them read the paper.
We are going to assume that they've
read the paper beforehand because I
think there's a significant problem
with relevant work such as this,
where people look at the title, perhaps read
the abstract, then discuss the matter and
forget that they never read the paper and
the arguments that were in there.
So providing you don't want to ask for
the opportunity to summarize the paper,
we can move on to the discussion,
assuming that our listeners have read the paper.
Is that fine with you?
Prof. Hart: That's fine.
Interviewer: Is there any reason why
we should treat the goals of companies
any differently from the way we
would treat the goals of other
legal persons in society, i.e., individuals?
Prof. Hart: I think not, I mean,
that's the conclusion I've come to.
I didn't always quite see it that way,
but I think that companies
are not independent objects,
they have people in them, working,
and they are also owned by people, so
we shouldn't think of them as different.