The Origins of Limited Liability in America

Data for a perennial libertarian debate


There's a short list—maybe not so short a list—of subjects that libertarians love to argue about among themselves. Some of these are major topics of public debate, such as abortion. And some of them are more arcane, such as limited liability laws.

The libertarian historian and economist Jeffrey Rogers Hummel tackles the topic of corporate limited liability in a post at EconLog, drawing on David A. Moss' book When All Else Fails. Hummel doesn't offer any policy conclusions, but he shares a lot of interesting historical data, including the surprising fact that the last state to adopt limited liability, California, didn't do so until 1931. Worth a look.

Bonus link: I touched on the issue of limited liability in this old piece.