For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!
You are using a browser that is no longer supported by Microsoft. Please upgrade your browser. The site may not present itself correctly if you continue browsing.

'The Code of Capital. How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality'

Event details of ACLE Seminar: Katharina Pistor (Columbia Law School)
Date 29 October 2019
Time 16:00 -17:15
Location Roeterseilandcampus - building A
Room A5.24
Katharina Pistor


Capital is not a thing; rather capital is the product of an object, claim to future cash-flows, or an idea and the legal code. In principle, any asset can be turned into capital, or private wealth, by using the elements of the code to imbue these assets with priority, durability, convertibility, and universality. A handful of legal elements have been used over the past 400 years to code first land and later firms, debt, and ideas into capital, namely property rights, collateral law, trust, corporate, bankruptcy and contract. This works, because states back legal coding strategies with their coercive powers. Further, they back not only assets that are coded in their own, domestic law, but also assets that are coded in foreign law. Global capitalism configured in only few legal systems, a menu of options from which sophisticated lawyers, the masters of the code, will pick and choose.


Amsterdam Law School, building REC A, Room A5.24

Roeterseilandcampus - building A

Room A5.24

Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
1018 WV Amsterdam


Please register before 27 October:

One-to-one Meeting Request

Click here for a one-to-one meeting with Professor Katharina Pistor on 29 October 2019, prior to the seminar. 

About the speaker

For more information about Katharina Pistor, look at her faculty profile. A summary of her book can be found at ProMarket and a summary of Chapter 6, “A Code for the Globe” is available from SSRI. The book is available for purchase at PUP.

About the Event

The Amsterdam Center for Law and Economics (ACLE) is a joint initiative of the Faculty of Economics and Business and the Faculty of Law at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). The objective of the ACLE is to promote high-quality interdisciplinary research at the intersection between law and economics.