Capitalism: Success, Crisis and Reform (PLSC 270) Professor Rae explains how the growing scale and complexity of railroads in the US were foundational to the development of modern capitalism. Operating the railroad system required professional managers and new management techniques, and the scale of railroad financing gave rise to the formation of the joint stock corporation. Professor Rae then discusses how different forms of company ownership differ along liability, liquidity, financial scalability, accountability, and role of ownership dimensions. Joint stock corporations are shown to be extremely efficient ways to raise large amounts of money, even if they suffer principal-agent problems. 00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction 06:13 - Chapter 2. The Double Challenge Faced by Railroads 20:16 - Chapter 3. The Joint Stock Corporation & Its Main Alternatives Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses This course was recorded in Fall 2009.
In this course, we will seek to interpret capitalism using ideas from biological evolution: firms pursuing varied strategies and facing extinction when those strategies fail are analogous to organisms struggling for survival in nature. For this reason, it is less concerned with ultimate judgment of capitalism than with the ways it can be shaped to fit our more specific objectives – for the natural environment, public health, alleviation of poverty, and development of human potential in every child. Each book we read will be explicitly or implicitly an argument about good and bad consequences of capitalism. This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 50 minutes, was videotaped for Open Yale Courses in Fall 2009. We apologize, but Lecture 10 in the course, "Guest Lecture by Richard Medley: Entrepreneurship in Business Information" is not currently available through Open Courseware.
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