Coronavirus Updates

About the Conference

Fifty years ago, Milton Friedman declared that the only social responsibility of business was to maximize profits. While this idea has dominated academia and business for most of the last 50 years, it has recently been called into question. Should corporations have a purpose that is different from making money? What should this purpose be? Should ESG objectives be part of the corporate goals? Who should decide?

To explore these topics, the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business is launching the fourth conference on the Political Economy of Finance. The conference will be held in conjunction with Chicago Booth’s conference on Corporate Social Responsibility Revisited.  

The Stigler Center publication ProMarket is also launching a series of articles on the topic, beginning with "Friedman’s Principle, 50 Years Later" by Luigi Zingales.


Thursday, September 10

Corporate Social Responsibility Revisited: How Has CSR Changed Since Milton Friedman Ignited the Debate 50 Years Ago?

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. CT Panel Discussion: The Business of Business
Margaret Blair, Vanderbilt University Law School
Mary Bush,'71, corporate board member
Steven Kaplan, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. CT Keynote Address
Oliver Hart, Harvard University
Moderator: Randall Kroszner, University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Political Economy of Finance Conference 2020: Should Corporations Have a Social Purpose? - Day 1

1:30 p.m. - 2:10 p.m. CT Conservative TV and Corporate Social Responsibility (with Mahsa Kaviani and Lily Li) | Watch video
Hosein Maleki, Florida State University | Slides
Discussant: Matilde Bombardini, University of California at Berkeley | Slides
2:10 p.m. - 2:50 p.m. CT Do institutional investors mitigate social costs of privatization? Evidence from prisons | Watch video
Eyub Yegen, University of Toronto | Slides
Discussant: Ana-Maria Tenekedjieva, Federal Reserve Board | Slides

Friday, September 11

Political Economy of Finance Conference 2020: Should Corporations Have a Social Purpose? - Day 2 -

10:00 a.m. - 10:40 a.m. CT The Illusory Promise of Stakeholder Governance (with Roberto Tallarita) | Watch video
Lucian Bebchuk, Harvard University | Slides
Discussant: Alex Edmans, London Business School | Slides
10:40 a.m. - 11:20 a.m. CT Consumer response to corporate political statements: Evidence from geolocation data | Watch video
Marcus Painter, Saint Louis University | Slides
Discussant: John Matsusaka, University of Southern California
11:20 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. CT Break
11:30 a.m. - 12:10 p.m. CT The Real Effects of Environmental Activist Investing (with S. Lakshmi Naaraayanan and Varun Sharma) | Watch video
Kunal Sachdeva, Rice University
Discussant: Mara Faccio, Purdue University | Slides
12:10 p.m. - 12:20 p.m. CT Closing Remarks
12:20 p.m. CT Conference Ends

Conference Organizers

  • Luigi Zingales, Robert C. McCormack Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance & Charles M. Harper Faculty Fellow, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Paola Sapienza, Donald C. Clark/HSBC Chair in Consumer Finance & Professor of Finance, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Program Committee

  • Pat Akey
  • Efraim Benmelech
  • Mara Faccio
  • Viktar Fedaseyeu
  • Raymond Fisman
  • Stefan Lewellen
  • Todd Mitton
  • Brian Richter
  • Boris Vallee
  • Vikrant Vig
  • Paolo Volpin
  • Yupana Wiwattanakantang

For more information, contact:

Rachel Piontek, Assistant Director, Stigler Center