Corporations, like the rest of us, must comply with environmental and other laws or suffer the consequences. Unfortunately, these consequences can pale in comparison to the gains to be made from non-compliance. Law-and-economics scholarship recognizes this and, by treating many laws as mere costs of doing business, encourages a certain amount of deliberate non-compliance. According to this view, corporate compliance should turn on profitability or whether compliance would otherwise benefit the firm. This Article argues that the law-and-economics scholarship is wrong on the law, wrong as a matter of economics, and does not reflect how most firms in fact behave. As for the firms that do flout applicable laws in the name of profit, the Article advances corporate law proposals and other solutions to rebalance cost-benefit analyses m favor of compliance.
Judd F. Sneirson, Shareholder Primacy and Corporate Compliance, 26 Fordham Env't L. Rev. 450 (2015).