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Full-Text Articles in Law

A Theory Of Poverty: Legal Immobility, Sara Sternberg Greene Jan 2019

A Theory Of Poverty: Legal Immobility, Sara Sternberg Greene

Faculty Scholarship

The puzzle of why the cycle of poverty persists and upward class mobility is so difficult for the poor has long captivated scholars and the public alike. Yet with all of the attention that has been paid to poverty, the crucial role of the law, particularly state and local law, in perpetuating poverty is largely ignored. This Article offers a new theory of poverty, one that introduces the concept of legal immobility. Legal immobility considers the cumulative effects of state and local laws as a mechanism through which poverty is perpetuated and upward mobility is stunted. The Article provides an ...


The Hausmann-Gorky Effect, Mitu Gulati, Ugo Panizza Jan 2018

The Hausmann-Gorky Effect, Mitu Gulati, Ugo Panizza

Faculty Scholarship

For over a century, legal scholars have debated the question of what to do about the debts incurred by despotic governments; asking whether successor non-despotic governments should have to pay them. That debate has gone nowhere. This paper examines whether an Op Ed written by Harvard economist, Ricardo Hausmann, in May 2017, may have shown an alternative path to the goal of increasing the cost of borrowing for despotic governments. Hausmann, in his Op Ed, had sought to produce a pricing penalty on the entire Venezuelan debt stock by trying to shame JPMorgan into removing Venezuelan bonds from its emerging ...


Maduro Bonds, G. Mitu Gulati, Ugo Panizza Jan 2018

Maduro Bonds, G. Mitu Gulati, Ugo Panizza

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Feminism And Economic Inequality, Katharine T. Bartlett Jan 2017

Feminism And Economic Inequality, Katharine T. Bartlett

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


The Puzzle Of Pdvsa Bond Prices, Paolo Colla, Anna Gelpern, Mitu Gulati Jan 2017

The Puzzle Of Pdvsa Bond Prices, Paolo Colla, Anna Gelpern, Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

Market reports in the summer of 2016 suggest that Venezuela is on the brink of default on upwards of $65 billion in debt. That debt comprises of bonds issued directly by the sovereign and those issued by the state-owned oil company PDVSA. Based on the bond contracts and other legal factors, it is not clear which of these two categories of bonds would fare better in the event of a restructuring. However, market observers are convinced — and we agree — that legal and contractual differences would likely impact the payouts on the bonds if Venezuela defaults. Using a comparison of recent ...


The Economics Of Healthcare Rationing, Michael D. Frakes, Matthew B. Frank, Kyle Rozema Jan 2017

The Economics Of Healthcare Rationing, Michael D. Frakes, Matthew B. Frank, Kyle Rozema

Faculty Scholarship

This article examines the economics of healthcare rationing. We begin with an overview of the various dimensions across which healthcare rationing operates, or at least has the potential to operate, in the first place. We then describe the types of economic analyses used in healthcare rationing decision-making, with particular reference to cost-benefit analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis. We also discuss healthcare rationing in practice, such as how economic analyses inform decisions regarding which services to cover, and conclude by discussing various practical and conceptual challenges that may arise with economic analyses and that span both economics and ethics.


Variation In Boilerplate: Rational Design Or Random Mutation?, Stephen J. Choi, Mitu Gulati, Robert E. Scott Jan 2017

Variation In Boilerplate: Rational Design Or Random Mutation?, Stephen J. Choi, Mitu Gulati, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Standard contract doctrine presumes that sophisticated parties choose their terminology carefully because they want courts or counterparts to understand what they intended. The implication of this “Rational Design” model of rational behavior is that courts should pay careful attention to the precise phrasing of contracts. Using a study of the sovereign bond market, we examine the Rational Design model as applied to standard-form contracting. In NML v. Argentina, federal courts in New York attached importance to the precise phrasing of the boilerplate contracts at issue. The industry promptly condemned the decision for a supposedly erroneous interpretation of a variant of ...


Deterring Holdout Creditors In A Restructuring Of Pdvsa Bonds And Promissory Notes (¿Cómo Disuadir A Acreedores 'Holdout' En Una Restructuración De Bonos Y Pagarés De Pdvsa?), Lee C. Buchheit, Mitu Gulati Jan 2017

Deterring Holdout Creditors In A Restructuring Of Pdvsa Bonds And Promissory Notes (¿Cómo Disuadir A Acreedores 'Holdout' En Una Restructuración De Bonos Y Pagarés De Pdvsa?), Lee C. Buchheit, Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

The prospect of the potential mischief that may be caused by holdout creditors in a Venezuelan sovereign debt restructuring is probably the main reason why the Maduro administration has not attempted such an exercise. The next administration in Venezuela — whenever and however it may arrive — will not want for suggestions about how to minimize or neutralize this holdout creditor threat. This short article is another contribution to that growing literature. Were the Republic of Venezuela to acknowledge that there really is only one public sector credit risk in the country, and that the distinction between Republic bonds and PDVSA bonds ...


Inequality Rediscovered, Jedediah Purdy, David Singh Grewal Jan 2017

Inequality Rediscovered, Jedediah Purdy, David Singh Grewal

Faculty Scholarship

Widespread recognition that economic inequality has been growing for forty years in most of the developed world, and in fact has tended to grow across most of the history of modern economies, shows that the period 1945-1973, when inequality of wealth and income shrank, was a marked anomaly in historical experience. At the time, however, the anomalous period of equality seemed to vindicate a long history of optimism about economic life: that growth would overcome meaningful scarcity and usher in an egalitarian and humanistic period that could almost qualify as post-economic. This has not been the experience of the last ...


Restructuring Sovereign Debt After Nml V. Argentina, Lee C. Buchheit, G. Mitu Gulati Jan 2017

Restructuring Sovereign Debt After Nml V. Argentina, Lee C. Buchheit, G. Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

The decade and a half of litigation that followed Argentina’s sovereign bond default in 2001 ended with a great disturbance in the Force. A new creditor weapon had been uncloaked: The prospect of a court injunction requiring the sovereign borrower to pay those creditors that decline to participate in a debt restructuring ratably with any payments made to those creditors that do provide the country with debt relief.

For the first time holdouts succeeded in fashioning a weapon that could be used to injure their erstwhile fellow bondholders, not just the sovereign issuer. Is the availability of this new ...


The Financial Crisis And Credit Unavailability: Cause Or Effect?, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2017

The Financial Crisis And Credit Unavailability: Cause Or Effect?, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

Although the relationship between credit availability and financial decline leading to the global financial crisis was somewhat interactive, a loss of credit availability appears to have caused the financial crisis more than the reverse. The potential for credit unavailability to cause a financial crisis suggests at least three lessons: (i) because credit availability is dependent on financial markets as well as banks, regulation should protect the viability of both credit sources; (ii) diversifying sources of credit might increase financial stability if each credit source is robust and does not create a liquidity glut or inappropriately weaken central bank control; and ...


A Better Calculus For Regulators: From Cost-Benefit Analysis To The Social Welfare Function, Matthew D. Adler Jan 2017

A Better Calculus For Regulators: From Cost-Benefit Analysis To The Social Welfare Function, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship

The “social welfare function” (SWF) is a powerful tool that originates in theoretical welfare economics and has wide application in economic scholarship, for example in optimal tax theory and environmental economics. This Article provides a comprehensive introduction to the SWF framework. It then shows how the SWF framework can be used as the basis for regulatory policy analysis, and why it improves upon cost-benefit analysis (CBA).

Two types of SWFs are especially plausible: the utilitarian SWF, which sums individual well-being numbers, and the prioritarian SWF, which gives extra weight to the well-being of the worse off. Either one of these ...


How To Restructure Venezuelan Debt (¿Cómo Restructurar La Deuda Venezolana?), Mitu Gulati, Lee C. Buchheit Jan 2017

How To Restructure Venezuelan Debt (¿Cómo Restructurar La Deuda Venezolana?), Mitu Gulati, Lee C. Buchheit

Faculty Scholarship

English Abstract: There is a growing consensus that Venezuela will not be able to persist for much longer with its policy of full external debt service. The social costs are just too great. This implies a debt restructuring of some kind. Venezuela, principally through its state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (“PDVSA”), has extensive commercial contacts with the United States. Not since Mexico in the 1980s has an emerging market country with this level of commercial contacts attempted to restructure its New York law-governed sovereign debt. Holdout creditors in a restructuring of Venezuelan sovereign debt will therefore present ...


The Pricing Of Non-Price Terms In Sovereign Bonds: The Case Of The Greek Guarantees, Stephen J. Choi, Mitu Gulati Jan 2016

The Pricing Of Non-Price Terms In Sovereign Bonds: The Case Of The Greek Guarantees, Stephen J. Choi, Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

In March 2012, Greece conducted one of the biggest and most brutal sovereign debt restructurings ever, asking holders of Greek government bonds to take net present value haircuts of near 80 percent. Greece forced acquiescence to its terms from a large number of its bonds by using a variety of legal strong-arm tactics. With the vast majority of Greek bonds, the tactics worked. There were, however, thirty-six bonds guaranteed by the Greek state, which, because of the weakness of the underlying companies, were effectively obligations of the Greek state. Yet, on these thirty six bonds, even though Greece desperately needed ...


Talking One's Way Out Of A Debt Crisis, Lee C. Buchheit, G. Mitu Gulati Jan 2016

Talking One's Way Out Of A Debt Crisis, Lee C. Buchheit, G. Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

The policy of Euro-area officialdom in the period 2010-2011 was to avoid, at all costs, a default and restructuring of the sovereign debt of a member of the monetary union. This policy was motivated principally, but not exclusively, by a fear that the international capital markets, if forcibly reminded of the precarious position of overindebted, growth-challenged members of a monetary union, might recoil generally from lending to European sovereigns. In short, they feared contagion.

The only alternative to permitting a debt restructuring, of course, was an official sector bailout. The afflicted countries -- Greece (until 2012), Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus -- received ...


Targeted Subordination Of Official Sector Debt, Lee C. Buchheit, Mitu Gulati Jan 2016

Targeted Subordination Of Official Sector Debt, Lee C. Buchheit, Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

If Greece’s debt is unsustainable, and most observers (including the IMF) seem to think it is, the country’s only source of funding will continue to be official sector bailout loans. Languishing for a decade or more as a ward of the official sector is undesirable from all perspectives. The Greeks bridle under what they see as foreign imposed austerity; the taxpayers who fund the official sector loans to Greece balk at the prospect of shoveling good money after bad. The question then is how to facilitate Greece’s ability to tap the private capital markets at tolerable interest ...


Neighborhoods By Assessment: An Analysis Of Non-Ad Valorem Financing In California, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Ellen C. Seljan Jan 2016

Neighborhoods By Assessment: An Analysis Of Non-Ad Valorem Financing In California, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Ellen C. Seljan

Faculty Scholarship

Non-ad valorem assessments on property are a fiscal innovation born from financial stress. Unable to raise property taxes due to limitations, many localities have turned to these charges as an alternative method to fund local services. In this paper, we seek to explain differential levels of non-ad valorem assessment financing through the analysis of property tax records of a large and diverse set of single family homes in California. We theorize that assessments, as opposed to other forms of taxation, will be used when residents hold anti-redistributive preferences. We show that assessment financing is most common in cities with high ...


Pricing Contract Terms In A Crisis: Venezuelan Bonds In 2016, Elena Carletti, Paolo Colla, Mitu Gulati, Steven Ongena Jan 2016

Pricing Contract Terms In A Crisis: Venezuelan Bonds In 2016, Elena Carletti, Paolo Colla, Mitu Gulati, Steven Ongena

Faculty Scholarship

As of this writing in June 2016, the markets are predicting Venezuela to be on the brink of default. On June 1, 2016, the 6 month CDS contract traded at about 7000bps which translates into a likelihood of default of over 90%. Our interest in the Venezuelan crisis is that its outstanding sovereign bonds have a unique set of contractual features that, in combination with its near-default status, have created a natural experiment. This experiment has the potential to shed light on one of the long standing questions that sits at the intersection of the fields of law and finance ...


The Sovereign-Debt Listing Puzzle, Elisabeth De Fontenay, Josefin Meyer, Mitu Gulati Jan 2016

The Sovereign-Debt Listing Puzzle, Elisabeth De Fontenay, Josefin Meyer, Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

The claim that stock exchanges perform certification and monitoring roles in securities offerings is pervasive in the legal and financial literatures. This article tests the validity of this “bonding hypothesis” in the sovereign-bond market—one of the oldest and largest securities markets in the world. Using data on sovereign-bond listings for the entire post-World War II period, we provide the first comprehensive report on sovereigns’ historical listing patterns. We then test whether a sovereign bond issue’s listing jurisdiction affects its yield at issuance, as the bonding hypothesis would predict. We find little evidence of bonding in today’s sovereign-debt ...


Nashbots: How Political Scientists Have Underestimated Human Rationality, And How To Fix It, Daniel Enemark, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Mark Turner Jan 2016

Nashbots: How Political Scientists Have Underestimated Human Rationality, And How To Fix It, Daniel Enemark, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Mark Turner

Faculty Scholarship

Political scientists use experiments to test the predictions of game-theoretic models. In a typical experiment, each subject makes choices that determine her own earnings and the earnings of other subjects, with payments corresponding to the utility payoffs of a theoretical game. But social preferences distort the correspondence between a subject’s cash earnings and her subjective utility, and since social preferences vary, anonymously matched subjects cannot know their opponents’ preferences between outcomes, turning many laboratory tasks into games of incomplete information. We reduce the distortion of social preferences by pitting subjects against algorithmic agents (“Nashbots”). Across 11 experimental tasks, subjects ...


Years Of Good Life Based On Income And Health: Re-Engineering Cost-Benefit Analysis To Examine Policy Impact On Wellbeing And Distributive Justice, Richard Cookson, Owen Cotton-Barrett, Matthew D. Adler, Miqdad Asaria, Toby Ord Jan 2016

Years Of Good Life Based On Income And Health: Re-Engineering Cost-Benefit Analysis To Examine Policy Impact On Wellbeing And Distributive Justice, Richard Cookson, Owen Cotton-Barrett, Matthew D. Adler, Miqdad Asaria, Toby Ord

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Does Medical Malpractice Law Improve Health Care Quality?, Michael D. Frakes, Anupam B. Jena Jan 2016

Does Medical Malpractice Law Improve Health Care Quality?, Michael D. Frakes, Anupam B. Jena

Faculty Scholarship

Despite the fundamental role of deterrence in justifying a system of medical malpractice law, surprisingly little evidence has been put forth to date bearing on the relationship between medical liability forces on the one hand and medical errors and health care quality on the other. In this paper, we estimate this relationship using clinically validated measures of health care treatment quality constructed using data from the 1979 to 2005 National Hospital Discharge Surveys and the 1987 to 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System records. Drawing upon traditional, remedy-centric tort reforms — e.g., damage caps — we estimate that the current liability ...


Macroprudential Regulation Of Mortgage Lending, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2016

Macroprudential Regulation Of Mortgage Lending, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

Much regulatory effort has been devoted to improving mortgage lending, the principal source of housing finance. To date, that effort has primarily been microprudential—intended to correct market failures in order to increase economic efficiency. In contrast, and while there is some overlap, this article focuses on a more “macroprudential” regulation of mortgage lending—intended to reduce systemic risk. Although largely underdeveloped in the literature, the macroprudential regulation of mortgage lending would have two goals: an ex ante goal of preventing systemic shocks in housing finance and the housing sector, and an ex post goal of ensuring that housing finance ...


Shadow Banking And Regulation In China And Other Developing Countries, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2016

Shadow Banking And Regulation In China And Other Developing Countries, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

The rapid but largely unregulated growth in shadow banking in developing countries such as China can jeopardize financial stability. This article discusses that growth and argues that a regulatory balance is needed to help protect financial stability while preserving shadow banking as an important channel of alternative funding. The article also analyzes how that regulation could be designed.


Benefit-Cost Analysis And Distributional Weights: An Overview, Matthew D. Adler Jan 2016

Benefit-Cost Analysis And Distributional Weights: An Overview, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship

Standard cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is insensitive to distributional concerns. A policy that improves the lives of the rich, and makes the poor yet worse off, will be approved by CBA as long as the policy’s aggregate monetized benefits are positive. Distributional weights offer an apparent solution to this troubling feature of the CBA methodology: adjust costs and benefits with weighting factors that are inversely proportional to the well-being levels (as determined by income and also perhaps non-income attributes such as health) of the affected individuals.

Indeed, an academic literature dating from the 1950s discusses how to specify distributional weights ...


Competing For Refugees: A Market-Based Solution To A Humanitarian Crisis, Joseph Blocher, Mitu Gulati Jan 2016

Competing For Refugees: A Market-Based Solution To A Humanitarian Crisis, Joseph Blocher, Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

The current refugee crisis demands novel legal solutions, and new ways of summoning the political will to implement them. As a matter of national incentives, the goal must be to design mechanisms that discourage countries of origin from creating refugees, and encourage host countries to welcome them. One way to achieve this would be to recognize that persecuted refugee groups have a financial claim against their countries of origin, and that this claim can be traded to host nations in exchange for acceptance. Modifications to the international apparatus would be necessary, but the basic legal elements of this proposal already ...


Aggregating Moral Preferences, Matthew D. Adler Jan 2016

Aggregating Moral Preferences, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship

Preference-aggregation problems arise in various contexts. One such context, little explored by social choice theorists, is metaethical. “Ideal-advisor” accounts, which have played a major role in metaethics, propose that moral facts are constituted by the idealized preferences of a community of advisors. Such accounts give rise to a preference-aggregation problem: namely, aggregating the advisors’ moral preferences. Do we have reason to believe that the advisors, albeit idealized, can still diverge in their rankings of a given set of alternatives? If so, what are the moral facts (in particular, the comparative moral goodness of the alternatives) when the advisors do diverge ...


A Sovereign’S Cost Of Capital: Go Foreign Or Stay Local, Michael Bradley, Irving Arturo De Lira Salvatierra, Mitu Gulati Jan 2016

A Sovereign’S Cost Of Capital: Go Foreign Or Stay Local, Michael Bradley, Irving Arturo De Lira Salvatierra, Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

A critical question faced by any sovereign seeking to raise funds in the bond market is whether to issue the debt under foreign or local parameters. This choice determines other key characteristics of any bond issue such as which banks, lawyers, and investors will be involved. Most important though, this decision involves a tradeoff between the sovereign retaining discretion in managing the issue and relinquishing control of the issue to third parties to prevent the sovereign from expropriating wealth from bondholders in the future. Based on a sample of 17,349 issuances by 117 sovereigns between 1990 and 2015, we ...


Priority For The Worse Off And The Social Cost Of Carbon, Matthew D. Adler, David Anthoff, Valentina Bosetti, Greg Garner, Klaus Keller, Nicolas Treich Jan 2016

Priority For The Worse Off And The Social Cost Of Carbon, Matthew D. Adler, David Anthoff, Valentina Bosetti, Greg Garner, Klaus Keller, Nicolas Treich

Faculty Scholarship

The social cost of carbon (SCC) is a monetary measure of the harms from carbon emission. Specifically, it is the reduction in current consumption that produces a loss in social welfare equivalent to that caused by the emission of a ton of CO2. The standard approach is to calculate the SCC using a discounted-utilitarian social welfare function (SWF)—one that simply adds up the well-being numbers (utilities) of individuals, as discounted by a weighting factor that decreases with time. The discounted-utilitarian SWF has been criticized both for ignoring the distribution of well-being, and for including an arbitrary preference for earlier ...


Justice, Claims And Prioritarianism: Room For Desert?, Matthew D. Adler Jan 2016

Justice, Claims And Prioritarianism: Room For Desert?, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship

Does individual desert matter for distributive justice? Is it relevant, for purposes of justice, that the pattern of distribution of justice’s “currency” (be it well-being, resources, preference-satisfaction, capabilities, or something else) is aligned in one or another way with the pattern of individual desert?

This paper examines the nexus between desert and distributive justice through the lens of individual claims. The concept of claims (specifically “claims across outcomes”) is a fruitful way to flesh out the content of distributive justice so as to be grounded in the separateness of persons. A claim is a relation between a person and ...