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Incorporating Race, 106 Columbia Law Review 2023 (2006)


Common law courts have for centuries regarded corporations as artificial persons—colorless, invisible, intangible persons. Yet, recently some courts have ruled that corporations can and do possess racial identities "as a matter of law." This Article explores the practical and theoretical implications of this ruling, both for our understanding of corporate personality and of race. In doing so, the Article develops an economic model of race based on representations and interpretations of racial signals and commitments. This model is used to suggest an approach to antidiscrimination law that avoids racial essentialism and an approach to corporate law that complicates shareholder primacy.

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