“Political Engagement by Corporations Derives from and is Focused on Seeking Monopolistic Power," Interview of Joseph Bower: ...Q: The neoclassical theory of the firm does not consider political engagement by corporations. How big of an omission do you think this is?
There has been extensive writing about the power and scope of corporations going back at least to Edward Mason and Carl Kaysen. In a chapter I wrote,1) I explored the role of large corporations in terms of their impact on factors other than the product market. Echoing Kaysen I emphasized location, employment, product line choices, vendors that because of their scale and scope give firms powers far beyond those conceived in the neo-classical model and unconstrained by traditional notions of price competition. The neo-classical model simply does not comprehend the modern corporation.
But if we are talking about a theory carefully constructed on a set of axioms, the theory really can’t consider political engagements. The essence of the neo-classical theory is the constraint on choice imposed by given and widely shared technology and competitive markets for resources and vendors. Political engagement derives from and is focused on seeking monopolistic power. The various theories of monopolistic competition are instructive but fall far short of the standard sought by neoclassical theory. ...