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Economic Perspectives on Corporate Social Responsibility.

By Markus KITZMUELLER

Abstract

What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and how can we explain the phenomenon from an economic perspective? Is there a business case for CSR and was Milton Friedman right when writing in the New York Times in 1970 that "the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits"? Chapter 1 of this thesis will address all these questions and create a coherent conceptual framework for further analysis in the subsequent chapters. In this function it will serve as a natural introduction to the economics of CSR. One of the main issues emerging from the literature on CSR is the need to identify and explore a new kind of classical dichotomy, i.e. the trade o¤ between market provision of public goods via CSR and its public counterpart via regulation. The two theoretical essays that follow will focus on novel and potentially unexpected interaction between ?rm strategy and classical regulation in light of CSR and imperfect information, thereby suggesting the need to revise and eventually adapt the traditional use of public policy or to think about completely new policy tools.Social responsibility of business; Corporate governance;

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