The “Ownership of the Firm” is a Myth (1975)

This paper was originally published in a journal: Ellerman, David. 1975. “The ‘Ownership of the Firm’ Is a Myth.” Administration and Society 7 (1 May): 27–42, and then we immediately reprinted in a collection of essays: Ellerman, David. 1975. “The ‘Ownership of the Firm’ Is a Myth.” In Organizational Democracy : Participation and Self-Management, edited by David Garson and Michael P. Smith. Beverly Hills CA: Sage Publications.

The fatal flaw in finance theory: Capitalizing “goodwill”

The fatal flaw at the root of today’s post is really what might be called “the fundamental myth” about the current property system, namely that the market-contractual role of being the residual claimant in a productive opportunity is treated as a “property right” that is currently owned by some legal party (e.g., the corporation having the contractual role) and that may be bought and sold as well as capitalized into the party’s current valuation.