Political Economy of Finance 2020: Should Corporations Have a Social Purpose?

September 2020
Virtual Conference

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 is open to theoretical and empirical contributions on all these themes.

Please note: In accordance with University guidance on COVID-19 and for the safety of our community, and in the spirit of continuing to promote and disseminate research, we will be holding the conference virtually in a series of webinars throughout September 2020.

Call for Papers

The Stigler Center is seeking papers on topics related to corporate social responsibility, the purpose of corporations, ESG objectives, the interaction between politics and business, and more.

Paper Submission Procedure: You may submit your paper by visiting the Ex Ordo paper submission system (please note that you will be required to set up an account first): https://pef2020.exordo.com

Deadline: The deadline for submissions is July 19, 2020 at 11:59pm Central time.

Official acceptance notices will be sent via email by the program co-chairs in mid-August. The program will be announced in late August.

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

For more information, contact:

Rachel Piontek, Assistant Director, Stigler Center

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