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Full-Text Articles in Law

Law Matters -- Less Than We Thought, Daniel M. Klerman, Holger Spamann Aug 2019

Law Matters -- Less Than We Thought, Daniel M. Klerman, Holger Spamann

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

In a pre-registered 2×2×2 factorial between-subject randomized lab experiment with 61 federal judges, we test if the law influences judicial decisions, if it does so more under a rule than under a standard, and how its influence compares to that of legally irrelevant sympathies. The judges were given realistic materials and a relatively long period of time (50 minutes) to decide a run-of-the-mill auto accident case. We find weak evidence for the law effect, stronger evidence that rules constrain more than standards, and no evidence of a sympathy effect. Unexpectedly, we find that judges were more likely to ...


Measuring Regulation: A Labor Task-Based Approach, Michael Simkovic, Miao Ben Zhang Aug 2019

Measuring Regulation: A Labor Task-Based Approach, Michael Simkovic, Miao Ben Zhang

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This paper uses occupational employment and wage data for over 270 industries from 1990 to 2017 to estimate the percentage of an industry's annual labor spending on performing regulation-related tasks. We hypothesize that this measure reflects the intensity of regulations that incentivize firm spending on compliance to avoid legal liability or regulatory sanctions. We study the sensitivity of this measure to shocks that change regulatory intensity in the finance and energy sectors. Compared to supply-side measures that count words in regulations, our response-based measure, Regulation Index, reflects broader sources of regulation, can better detect the impact of regulations, and ...


Toward A Mission Statement For Mutual Funds In Shareholder Litigation, Sean J. Griffith, Dorothy S. Lund Aug 2019

Toward A Mission Statement For Mutual Funds In Shareholder Litigation, Sean J. Griffith, Dorothy S. Lund

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This paper analyzes the conduct of mutual funds in shareholder litigation. We begin by reviewing the basic forms of shareholder litigation and the benefits such claims might offer mutual fund investors. We then investigate, though an in-depth docket review, whether and how the ten largest mutual funds participate in shareholder litigation. We find that although shareholder suits offer potential benefits, the largest mutual funds have essentially forfeited their use of litigation. This finding is particularly striking given that index funds and other long-term oriented mutual funds generally cannot sell their shares when they are dissatisfied with company performance, leaving them ...


Catalyzing Privacy Law, Anupam Chander, Margot E. Kaminski, William Mcgeveran Aug 2019

Catalyzing Privacy Law, Anupam Chander, Margot E. Kaminski, William Mcgeveran

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The United States famously lacks a comprehensive federal data privacy law. In the past year, however, nearly half of state legislatures have proposed or enacted broad privacy bills or have established privacy legislation task forces, while Congress has scrambled to hold hearings on multiple such proposals. What is catalyzing this legislative momentum? Some believe that Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force in 2018, is the driving factor. But with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) scheduled to take effect in January 2020, California has emerged as an alternate contender in the race to set the ...


A Better Hope For Campaign Finance Reform, Edward J. Mccaffery Aug 2019

A Better Hope For Campaign Finance Reform, Edward J. Mccaffery

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

There is too much money in American politics, and too much of it comes from too few citizens. Mega-donors like Sheldon Adelson or Tom Steyer make $100 million political expenditures every election cycle. Attempts to limit such large political contributions have failed at every level: judicially, legislatively, and administratively. Much of the academic literature has joined the real world’s sense of despair. This Article takes a new tack. By changing our tax system from an income to a consistent progressive spending tax, the true cost of political expenditures by mega-donors could increase tenfold. By using a strategy of taxing ...


Stabilizing “Pillar One”: Corporate Profit Reallocation In An Uncertain Environment, Itai Grinberg Jul 2019

Stabilizing “Pillar One”: Corporate Profit Reallocation In An Uncertain Environment, Itai Grinberg

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This paper is about how the world reestablishes international tax order.

The paper focuses on the OECD’s work on profit reallocation and asks whether this multilateral effort can be successful in stabilizing the international tax system. The analysis centers on the current leading concepts for reallocating profit among jurisdictions under what is known as “Pillar One” of the OECD work programme. To analyze whether any Pillar One concept can be turned into a stable multilateral regime, it is necessary to specify certain elements of what a proposal to reallocate profits might entail. Accordingly, this paper sets out two strawman ...


The Cost Of Legal Restrictions On Experience Rating, Levon Barseghyan, Francesca Molinari, Darcy Steeg Morris, Joshua C. Teitelbaum Jul 2019

The Cost Of Legal Restrictions On Experience Rating, Levon Barseghyan, Francesca Molinari, Darcy Steeg Morris, Joshua C. Teitelbaum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

We investigate the cost of legal restrictions on experience rating in auto and home insurance. The cost is an opportunity cost as experience rating can mitigate the problems associated with unobserved heterogeneity in claim risk, including mispriced coverage and resulting demand distortions. We assess this cost through a counterfactual analysis in which we explore how risk predictions, premiums, and demand in home insurance and two lines of auto insurance would respond to unrestricted multiline experience rating. Using claims data from a large sample of households, we first estimate the variance-covariance matrix of unobserved heterogeneity in claim risk. We then show ...


Apple V. Pepper: Rationalizing Antitrust’S Indirect Purchaser Rule, Herbert J. Hovenkamp May 2019

Apple V. Pepper: Rationalizing Antitrust’S Indirect Purchaser Rule, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In Apple v. Pepper the Supreme Court held that consumers who allegedly paid too much for apps sold on Apple’s iStore could sue Apple for antitrust damages because they were “direct purchasers.” The decision reflects some bizarre complexities that have resulted from the Supreme Court’s 1977 decision in Illinois Brick, which held that only direct purchasers could sue for overcharge injuries under the federal antitrust laws. The indirect purchaser rule was problematic from the beginning. First, it was plainly inconsistent with the antitrust damages statute, which gives an action to “any person who shall be injured in his ...


Mootness Fees, Matthew D. Cain, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon, Randall Thomas May 2019

Mootness Fees, Matthew D. Cain, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon, Randall Thomas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

We examine the latest development in merger litigation: the mootness fee. Utilizing a hand-collected sample of 2,320 unique deals from 2003-2018, we find that Delaware’s crackdown on merger litigation substantially altered the merger litigation landscape. Although merger litigation rates remain high, and in 2018 83% of deals experienced litigation, plaintiffs’ lawyers have fled Delaware. In 2018 only 5% of completed deals experienced merger litigation in Delaware compared to 50%-60% in prior years. These cases have migrated to federal court where in 2018 92% of deals with litigation experienced a filing. We find that at least 65% of ...


Health Care's Market Bureaucracy, Allison K. Hoffman May 2019

Health Care's Market Bureaucracy, Allison K. Hoffman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The last several decades of health law and policy have been built on a foundation of economic theory. This theory supported the proliferation of market-based policies that promised maximum efficiency and minimal bureaucracy. Neither of these promises has been realized. A mounting body of empirical research discussed in this Article makes clear that leading market-based policies are not efficient — they fail to capture what people want. Even more, this Article describes how the struggle to bolster these policies — through constant regulatory, technocratic tinkering that aims to improve the market and the decision-making of consumers in it — has produced a massive ...


If Not Now, When? Us Tax Treaties With Latin America After Tcja, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah May 2019

If Not Now, When? Us Tax Treaties With Latin America After Tcja, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

Since the 1990s, the US tax treaty network has expanded to include most large developing countries. However, there remains a glaring exception: The US only has two tax treaties in Latin America (Mexico and Venezuela), and one pending tax treaty (Chile). The traditional explanation for why the US has no treaty with, for example, Argentina or Brazil is the US refusal since 1957 to grant tax sparing credits to developing countries. Before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), this explanation was wrong, because the combination of deferral and cross-crediting meant that tax holidays in a source country ...


Centros, California’S “Women On Boards” Statute And The Scope Of Regulatory Competition, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon May 2019

Centros, California’S “Women On Boards” Statute And The Scope Of Regulatory Competition, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

We examine the Centros decision through the lens of SB 826 – the California statute mandating a minimum number of women on boards. SB 826, like the Centros decision, raises questions about the scope of the internal affairs doctrine and its role in encouraging regulatory competition. Despite the claim that US corporate law is characterized by regulatory competition, in the US, the internal affairs doctrine has led to less variation in corporate law than in Europe. We theorize that this is due to the shareholder primacy norm in US corporate law which results in the internal affairs doctrine focusing on matters ...


What’S In Your Wallet (And What Should The Law Do About It?), Natasha Sarin May 2019

What’S In Your Wallet (And What Should The Law Do About It?), Natasha Sarin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In traditional markets, firms can charge prices that are significantly elevated relative to their costs only if there is a market failure. However, this is not true in a two-sided market (like Amazon, Uber, and Mastercard), where firms often subsidize one side of the market and generate revenue from the other. This means consideration of one side of the market in isolation is problematic. The Court embraced this view in Ohio v. American Express, requiring that anticompetitive harm on one side of a two-sided market be weighed against benefits on the other side.

Legal scholars denounce this decision, which, practically ...


Does Customary International Tax Law Exist?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah May 2019

Does Customary International Tax Law Exist?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

Customary international law is law that “results from a general and consistent practice of states followed by them from a sense of legal obligation.” “International agreements create law for states parties thereto and may lead to the creation of customary international law when such agreements are intended for adherence by states generally and are in fact widely accepted.” Does customary international law (CIL) exist in tax? There are over 3,000 bilateral tax treaties, and they are about 80% identical to each other, but do they create CIL that binds in the absence of a binding treaty, like for example ...


Should Automakers Be Responsible For Accidents?, Kyle D. Logue May 2019

Should Automakers Be Responsible For Accidents?, Kyle D. Logue

Articles

Motor vehicles are among the most dangerous products sold anywhere. Automobiles pose a larger risk of accidental death than any other product, except perhaps opioids. Annual autocrash deaths in the United States have not been below 30,000 since the 1940s, reaching a recent peak of roughly 40,000 in 2016. And the social cost of auto crashes goes beyond deaths. Auto-accident victims who survive often incur extraordinary medical expenses. Those crash victims whose injuries render them unable to work experience lost income. Auto accidents also cause nontrivial amounts of property damage—mostly to the automobiles themselves, but also to ...


Economic Theory Of Criminal Law, Keith Hylton May 2019

Economic Theory Of Criminal Law, Keith Hylton

Faculty Scholarship

Economic theory of criminal law consists of normative and positive parts. Normative economic theory, which began with writings by Beccaria and Bentham, aims to recommend an ideal criminal punishment scheme. Positive economic theory, which appeared later in writings by Holmes and Posner, aims to justify and to better understand the criminal law rules that exist. Since the purpose of criminal law is to deter socially undesirable conduct, economic theory, which emphasizes incentives, would appear to be an important perspective from which to examine criminal law.

Positive economic theory, applied to substantive criminal law, seeks to explain and to justify criminal ...


Globalization, Tax Competition And The Fiscal Crisis Of The Welfare State: A Twentieth Anniversary Retrospective, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah May 2019

Globalization, Tax Competition And The Fiscal Crisis Of The Welfare State: A Twentieth Anniversary Retrospective, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

Twenty years ago I wrote “Globalization, Tax Competition, and the Fiscal Crisis of the Welfare State” (113 Harv. L. Rev. 1573 (2000)), which argued that “[t]he current age of globalization can be distinguished from the previous one (from 1870 to 1914) by the much higher mobility of capital than labor… The mobility of capital is linked to tax competition, in which sovereign countries lower their tax rates on income earned by foreigners within their borders in order to attract both portfolio and direct investment. Tax competition, in turn, threatens to undermine the individual and corporate income taxes, which traditionally ...


Occupational Licensing And The Limits Of Public Choice Theory, Gabriel Scheffler, Ryan Nunn Apr 2019

Occupational Licensing And The Limits Of Public Choice Theory, Gabriel Scheffler, Ryan Nunn

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Public choice theory has long been the dominant lens through which economists and other scholars have viewed occupational licensing. According to the public choice account, practitioners favor licensing because they want to reduce competition and drive up their own wages. This essay argues that the public choice account has been overstated, and that it ironically has served to distract from some of the most important harms of licensing, as well as from potential solutions. We emphasize three specific drawbacks of this account. First, it is more dismissive of legitimate threats to public health and safety than the research warrants. Second ...


Critical Tax Thinking, Edward D. Kleinbard Apr 2019

Critical Tax Thinking, Edward D. Kleinbard

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This presentation considers the aims of critical tax studies and offers three suggestions. First, critical tax papers too often fixate on taxes as both the problem and the solution. In many cases, in particular when progressivity is the aim, public spending is the better policy lever. Second, one should not concede that taxation imposes an inexorable tradeoff between efficiency and equity goals. This again understates the importance of the spending side of things. Taxes are a necessary cost of funding spending, and spending in turn, by reaching places where markets are incomplete, can have efficiency payoffs greater than the deadweight ...


Analyzing Vertical Mergers To Avoid False Negatives: Three Recent Case Studies, Steven C. Salop Apr 2019

Analyzing Vertical Mergers To Avoid False Negatives: Three Recent Case Studies, Steven C. Salop

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This article analyzes three recent vertical mergers: a private antitrust case attacking the consummated merger of Jeld-Wen and Craftmaster Manufacturing Inc. (“CMI”) that was cleared by the DOJ in 2012 but subsequently litigated and won by the plaintiff, Steves & Sons in 2018; and two recent vertical merger matters investigated and cleared (with limited remedies) by 3-2 votes by the Federal Trade Commission in early 2019 -- Staples/Essendant and Fresenius/NxStage. There are some factual parallels among these three matters that make it interesting to analyze them together. First, the DOJ’s decision to clear Jeld-Wen/CMI merger appears to be a clear false ...


Five Principles For Vertical Merger Enforcement Policy, Jonathan B. Baker, Nancy L. Rose, Steven C. Salop, Fiona Scott Morton Apr 2019

Five Principles For Vertical Merger Enforcement Policy, Jonathan B. Baker, Nancy L. Rose, Steven C. Salop, Fiona Scott Morton

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

There seems to be consensus that the Department of Justice’s 1984 Vertical Merger Guidelines do not reflect either modern theoretical and empirical economic analysis or current agency enforcement policy. Yet widely divergent views of preferred enforcement policies have been expressed among agency enforcers and commentators. Based on our review of the relevant economic literature and our experience analyzing vertical mergers, we recommend that the enforcement agencies adopt five principles: (i) The agencies should consider and investigate the full range of potential anticompetitive harms when evaluating vertical mergers; (ii) The agencies should decline to presume that vertical mergers benefit competition ...


Making Sustainability Disclosure Sustainable, Jill E. Fisch Apr 2019

Making Sustainability Disclosure Sustainable, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Sustainability is receiving increasing attention from issuers, investors and regulators. The desire to understand issuer sustainability practices and their relationship to economic performance has resulted in a proliferation of sustainability disclosure regimes and standards. The range of approaches to disclosure, however, limit the comparability and reliability of the information disclosed. The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) has solicited comment on whether to require expanded sustainability disclosures in issuer’s periodic financial reporting, and investors have communicated broad-based support for such expanded disclosures, but, to date, the SEC has not required general sustainability disclosure.

This Article argues that claims about the relationship ...


Deputizing Family: Loved Ones As A Regulatory Tool In The "Drug War" And Beyond, Matthew J.B. Lawrence Apr 2019

Deputizing Family: Loved Ones As A Regulatory Tool In The "Drug War" And Beyond, Matthew J.B. Lawrence

Faculty Journal Articles

Many laws use family members as a regulatory tool to influence the decisions or behavior of their loved ones, i.e., they deputize family. Involuntary treatment laws for substance use disorder are a clear example; such laws empower family members to use information shared by their loved ones to petition to force their loved ones into treatment without consent. Whether such deputization is helpful or harmful for a patient’s health is a crucial and dubious question discussed in existing literature, but use of family members as a regulatory tool implicates important considerations beyond direct medical impacts that have not ...


Digital Platforms And Antitrust Law, Keith Hylton Apr 2019

Digital Platforms And Antitrust Law, Keith Hylton

Faculty Scholarship

This is a paper about “big data” and antitrust law. For my purposes, big data refers to digital platforms that enable the discovery and sharing of information by consumers, and the harvesting and analysis of data on those consumers by the platform. The obvious example of such a platform is Google. The big platforms owe their market dominance not to anticompetitive conduct but to economies of scale. I discuss three types of anticompetitive conduct associated with digital platforms: kill zone expropriation, acquisition of nascent rivals, and denial of access to data. There is nothing so unusual about digital platforms that ...


The Tcja And The Questionable Incentive To Incorporate, Part 2, Michael S. Knoll Mar 2019

The Tcja And The Questionable Incentive To Incorporate, Part 2, Michael S. Knoll

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has put the question should a business be organized as a passthrough entity or as a corporation at center stage. The TCJA eliminated much of the tax disadvantage from using the corporate form, but did Congress go so far that it advantaged corporations relative to pass-through entities? Some prominent commentators say yes. They argue that the federal income tax now encourages individual owners of pass-through businesses to restructure their business as subchapter C corporations, and they predict that the TCJA will lead to a cascade of incorporations. The principal driver of the shift ...


Intermediated Securities Holding Systems Revisited: A View Through The Prism Of Transparency, Thomas Keijser, Charles W. Mooney Jr. Mar 2019

Intermediated Securities Holding Systems Revisited: A View Through The Prism Of Transparency, Thomas Keijser, Charles W. Mooney Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This chapter explains several benefits of adopting transparent information technology systems for intermediated securities holding infrastructures. Such transparent systems could ameliorate various prevailing problems that confront existing tiered, intermediated holding systems, including those related to corporate actions (dividends, voting), claims against issuers and upper-tier intermediaries, loss sharing and set-off in insolvency proceedings, money laundering and terrorist financing, and privacy, data protection, and confidentiality. Moreover, transparent systems could improve the functions of intermediated holding systems even without changes in laws or regulations. They also could provide a catalyst for law reform and a roadmap for substantive content of reforms. Among potential ...


The Warren Campaign’S Antitrust Proposals, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Mar 2019

The Warren Campaign’S Antitrust Proposals, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Antitrust policy promises to be an important issue in the 2020 presidential election, and for good reason. Market power measured by price-cost margins has been on the rise since the 1980s. Presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren has two proposals directed at large tech platforms. One would designate large platform markets such as Amazon “platform utilities,” and prohibit them from selling their own merchandise on the platform in competition with other retailers. The other proposes more aggressive enforcement against large platform acquisitions of smaller companies.

This paper concludes that the first proposal is anticompetitive, leading to reduced output and higher prices ...


Law School News: Introducing The Joint Jd/Mba Degree 03/07/2019, Edward Fitzpatrick Mar 2019

Law School News: Introducing The Joint Jd/Mba Degree 03/07/2019, Edward Fitzpatrick

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


Platforms And The Rule Of Reason: The American Express Case, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Mar 2019

Platforms And The Rule Of Reason: The American Express Case, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In Ohio v. American Express Co., the Supreme Court applied antitrust’s rule of reason to a two-sided platform. The challenge was to an “anti-steering” rule, a vertical restraint preventing merchants from shifting customers who offered an AmEx card from to a less costly alternative such as Visa or Mastercard.

A two-sided platform is a business that depends on relationships between two different, noncompeting groups of transaction partners. For example, a printed periodical such as a newspaper earns revenue by selling both advertising and subscriptions to the paper itself. Success depends on a platform’s ability to maintain the appropriate ...


The Tcja And The Questionable Incentive To Incorporate, Michael S. Knoll Mar 2019

The Tcja And The Questionable Incentive To Incorporate, Michael S. Knoll

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has put the question should a business be organized as a passthrough entity or as a corporation at center stage. The TCJA eliminated much of the tax disadvantage from using the corporate form, but did Congress go so far that it advantaged corporations relative to pass-through entities? Some prominent commentators say yes. They argue that the federal income tax now encourages individual owners of pass-through businesses to restructure their business as subchapter C corporations, and they predict that the TCJA will lead to a cascade of incorporations. The principal driver of the shift ...