Abstract: Innovation and its main output, technology, are changing the way we work, socialise, vote, and live. New technologies have improved our lives and made firms more productive, overall raising living standards across the world. Thanks to progress in information technology, the rate of change is accelerating. Disruption and disequilibrium are the new normal. In this essay, prepared as a chapter for the first phase of the British Academy ‘The Future of the Corporation’ initiative, we reflect upon the role that corporate, competition and tax law can play both to facilitate innovation and simultaneously assuage emergent societal risks arising from new technologies. We consider means of enhancing investment in research and development (‘R&D’) and optimising corporate organisation. But we also reflect on the risks associated with innovation, such as the use of technology to exploit consumers, manipulate markets or distort, unwittingly or not, the political process. Finally, we consider the way in which the environment for business law reform is subject to new political risks following the challenge to the liberal order from populism and the rising power of dominant technology companies.
Article posted to Journal of the British Academy, volume 6,
supplementary issue 1 (Reforming Business for the 21st Century).
Number of pages: 36 (pp. 285-321)
Publication date: 17 Dec 2018
Author: John Armour, Luca Enriques, Ariel Ezrachi and John Vella
Publisher: Journal of the British Academy