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A Law And Economics Perspective On Terrorism, Nuno M. Garoupa , Jonathan Klick, Francesco Parisi Sep 2005

A Law And Economics Perspective On Terrorism, Nuno M. Garoupa , Jonathan Klick, Francesco Parisi

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

This paper reviews the existing law and economics literature on crime, noting where various models might apply to the terror context. Specifically, it focuses on two strands of the literature, deterrence and incapacitation. Challenging the conventional application of the basic rational agent model of crime in the context of terrorism, it considers anti-terror measures enacted by different countries, highlighting how the details of the laws correspond to the insights from economic models of crime. In conclusion, the paper proposes an efficient sorting mechanism in which individuals will be provided with adequate incentives to reveal their type to law enforcement authorities.


Two Tales Of Bundling, Bruce H. Kobayashi Sep 2005

Two Tales Of Bundling, Bruce H. Kobayashi

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

The economic literature on bundling has made many theoretical advances. However, several omissions reveal themselves. The advances have largely been on the theoretical side. These models contain restrictive assumptions regarding the existence of monopoly in some markets, and the nature of rivalry in others. The models generally ignore obvious and ubiquitous reasons firms may use bundled discounts. These models have not been subject to robustness checks, nor have their assumptions been tested empirically. As a result, the literature that shows the possibility of anticompetitive harm does not provide a reliable way to gauge whether the potential for harm would outweigh ...


The Economics Of Loyalty Discounts And Antitrust Law In The United States, Bruce H. Kobayashi Aug 2005

The Economics Of Loyalty Discounts And Antitrust Law In The United States, Bruce H. Kobayashi

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

This paper examines the law and economics of loyalty discounts. While there have been recent advances in the economic analysis of loyalty discounts, this literature is still relatively recent and sparse. Though some of these papers provide tests that would serve to identify either deviations from short run profit maximization or, in the case of bundled discounts, a reduction in consumer welfare or the exclusion of a hypothetically equally efficient competitor, these tests have several shortcomings. As a result, the economic literature currently does not provide a reliable way to gauge whether the potential harm from the use of loyalty ...


Calling A Truce In The Culture Wars: From Enron To The Cia, Craig S. Lerner Aug 2005

Calling A Truce In The Culture Wars: From Enron To The Cia, Craig S. Lerner

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

This Article compares and evaluates recent Congressional efforts to improve institutional “cultures” in the private and public sectors. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was designed to upgrade corporate culture by patching up the “walls” that separate corporate management from boards of directors, accountants, lawyers, and financial analysts. The Intelligence Reform Act of 2005 took a different tack, hammering away at walls that supposedly segmented the intelligence community. The logic was that the market failed because people did not observe sufficient formalities in their dealings with one another, while the intelligence community failed precisely because people kept their distance from one ...


Life V. Death: Or Why The Death Penalty Should Marginally Deter, Charles N. W. Keckler Aug 2005

Life V. Death: Or Why The Death Penalty Should Marginally Deter, Charles N. W. Keckler

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

Econometric measures of the effect of capital punishment have increasingly provided evidence that it deters homicides. However, most researchers on both sides of the death penalty debate continue to rely on rather simple assumptions about criminal behavior. I attempt to provide a more nuanced and predictive rational choice model of the incentives and disincentives to kill, with the aim of assessing to what extent the statistical findings of deterrence are in line with theoretical expectations. In particular, I examine whether it is plausible to suppose there is a marginal increase in deterrence created by increasing the penalty from life imprisonment ...


Private Property, Development And Freedom, Steven J. Eagle Aug 2005

Private Property, Development And Freedom, Steven J. Eagle

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

The author asserts that adherence to the rule of law, including property law, is a necessary condition to economic development and human freedom. United States governmental agencies and private institutes have attempted to convey this message to Russia, other states of the former Soviet Union, and former Soviet satellite states, with some success. Finally, and unfortunately, the United States has veered away from the very adherence to the rule of law respecting property which it espouses abroad.


Reasonable Suspicion And Mere Hunches, Craig S. Lerner Aug 2005

Reasonable Suspicion And Mere Hunches, Craig S. Lerner

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

In Terry v. Ohio, Earl Warren held that police officers could temporarily detain a suspect, provided that they could articulate the “reasonable inferences” for their suspicion, and not merely allude to a “hunch.” Since Terry, the American legal system has discounted the “mere” hunches of police officers, requiring them to articulate “specific” and “objective” observations of fact to support their decision to conduct a stop and frisk. The officer’s intuitions, gut feelings and sixth sense about a situation are all disallowed.

This dichotomy between facts and intuitions is built on sand. Emotions and intuitions can be reasonable, and reasons ...


Crops, Guns & Commerce: A Game Theoretical Critique Of Gonzales V. Raich, Maxwell L. Stearns Aug 2005

Crops, Guns & Commerce: A Game Theoretical Critique Of Gonzales V. Raich, Maxwell L. Stearns

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

In Gonzales v. Raich, the Supreme Court sustained an application of the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”), banning all private use of marijuana, as applied to two women who had cultivated or otherwise acquired marijuana for the treatment of severe pain pursuant to the California Compassionate Use Act. Writing for the majority, Justice Stevens placed Raich at the intersection of two landmark Commerce Clause precedents: Wickard v. Filburn, the notorious 1942 decision, which upheld a penalty under the Agriculture Adjustment Act of 1938 applied to a local farmer who violated his wheat quota but who had used the modest excess portion ...


The Reasonableness Of Probable Cause, Craig S. Lerner Aug 2005

The Reasonableness Of Probable Cause, Craig S. Lerner

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

Probable cause is generally cast in judicial opinions and the scholarly literature as a fixed probability of criminal activity. In the weeks before the September 11 attacks, FBI headquarters, applying such an unbending standard, rejected a warrant application to search Zacarias Moussaoui’s laptop computer. This article, which begins with an analysis of the Moussaoui episode, argues that the probable cause standard should be calibrated to the gravity of the investigated offense and the intrusiveness of a proposed search. Tracing the evolution of probable cause from the common law through its American development, the article argues that the Supreme Court ...


Expressive Association After Dale, David E. Bernstein Aug 2005

Expressive Association After Dale, David E. Bernstein

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

The right to join with other people to promote a particular outlook, known as the right of expressive association, is a necessary adjunct to the right of freedom of speech, which is protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. In Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, the United States Supreme Court found that the Boy Scouts of America had a First Amendment expressive association right to exclude a homosexual adult volunteer. Dale is likely to prove to be one of the most important First Amendment cases of recent years, because the Court enforced a broad right of ...


Is Forum-Shopping Corrupting America's Bankruptcy Courts? Review Of Lynn M. Lopucki, "Courting Failure: How Competition For Big Cases Is Corrupting The Bankruptcy Courts", Todd J. Zywicki Aug 2005

Is Forum-Shopping Corrupting America's Bankruptcy Courts? Review Of Lynn M. Lopucki, "Courting Failure: How Competition For Big Cases Is Corrupting The Bankruptcy Courts", Todd J. Zywicki

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

In his new book, Courting Failure: How Competition for Big Cases is Corrupting the Bankruptcy Courts, Professor Lynn LoPucki’s book argues that that current bankruptcy venue rules have spawned an improper “competition for big cases” that has “corrupted” America’s bankruptcy courts. LoPucki argues that this competition has harmed the bankruptcy system and the economy, transferring wealth from creditors and employees to incumbent management and bankruptcy professionals. He also argues that the competition that has corrupted the American bankruptcy system is being replicated internationally, resulting in a similar competition and similar harm on the global stage.

This essay reviews ...


Learning The Wrong Lessons From "An American Tragedy": A Critique Of The Berger-Twerski Informed Choice Proposal, David E. Bernstein Aug 2005

Learning The Wrong Lessons From "An American Tragedy": A Critique Of The Berger-Twerski Informed Choice Proposal, David E. Bernstein

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

This paper is a critique of Margaret Berger and Aaron Twerski, “Uncertainty and Informed Choice: Unmasking Daubert”, forthcoming the Michigan Law Review. Berger and Twerski propose that courts recognize a cause of action that would allow plaintiffs who claim injury from pharmaceutical products, but who do not have sufficient evidence to prove causation, to recover damages for deprivation of informed choice. Berger and Twerski claim inspiration from the litigation over allegations that the morning sickness drug Bendectin caused birth defects. Considering the criteria Berger and Twerski suggest for their proposed cause of action in the context of Bendectin, it appears ...


Bolling, Equal Protection, Due Process, And Lochnerphobia, David E. Bernstein Jul 2005

Bolling, Equal Protection, Due Process, And Lochnerphobia, David E. Bernstein

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

In Brown v. Board of Education, the United States Supreme Court invalidated state and local school segregation laws as a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. That same day, in Bolling v. Sharpe, the Court held unconstitutional de jure segregation in Washington, D.C.'s public schools under the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause. Fifty years after it was decided, Bolling remains one of the Warren Court's most controversial decisions.

The controversy reflects the widespread belief that the outcome in Bolling reflected the Justices' political preferences and was not a sound interpretation of the Due ...


Neuronomics And Rationality, Terrence Chorvat, Kevin Mccabe Jun 2005

Neuronomics And Rationality, Terrence Chorvat, Kevin Mccabe

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

The assumption of rationality is both one of the most important and most controversial assumptions of modern economics. This article discusses what current experimental economic as well as neuroscience research tells us about the relationship between rationality and the mechanisms of human decision-making. The article explores the meaning of rationality, with a discussion of the distinction between traditional constructivist rationality and more ecological concepts of rationality. The article argues that ecological notions of rationality more accurately describe both human neural mechanisms as well as a wider variety of human behavior than do constructivist notions of rationality.


The Comparative Law And Economics Of Pure Economic Loss, Francesco Parisi, Vernon Valentine Palmer, Mauro Bussani Jun 2005

The Comparative Law And Economics Of Pure Economic Loss, Francesco Parisi, Vernon Valentine Palmer, Mauro Bussani

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

Law and economics shows that a key factor in determining the optimal economic loss rule is found in the relationship between pure economic loss and social loss. Economic loss should be compensable in torts only to the extent that it corresponds to a socially relevant loss. In this paper we undertake a comparative evaluation of the economic loss rule to verify whether modern legal systems, although not formally adopting the economic criterion, define the exclusionary rule in light of efficiency considerations. The comparative analysis reveals that the substantive applications of the economic loss rule in European jurisdictions are consistent with ...


Worthless Patents, Kimberly A. Moore Apr 2005

Worthless Patents, Kimberly A. Moore

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

This article presents the first empirical analysis of patent value by examining renewal rate data for nearly 100,000 patents. Finding that 53.7% of all patentees allow their patents to expire for failure to pay maintenance fees confirm common perceptions of patent issuance being a poor measure of innovation value. Even more interesting is the finding that patents which expire for failure to pay maintenance fees share some common identifiable characteristics. In particular, we found that renewed patents had more claims, cited more prior art, received more citations, had more related applications, had more inventors, and spent longer in ...


An Economic Analysis Of The Private And Social Costs Of The Provision Of Cybersecurity And Other Public Security Goods, Bruce H. Kobayashi Apr 2005

An Economic Analysis Of The Private And Social Costs Of The Provision Of Cybersecurity And Other Public Security Goods, Bruce H. Kobayashi

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

This paper examines the incentives of private actors to invest in cybersecurity. Prior analyses have examined investments in security goods, such as locks or safes that have the characteristics of private goods. The analysis in this paper extends this analysis to examine expenditures on security goods, such as information, that have the characteristics of public goods. In contrast to the private goods case, where individual uncoordinated security expenditures can lead to an overproduction of security, the public goods case can result in the underproduction of security expenditures, and incentives to free ride. Thus, the formation of collective organizations may be ...


Fig Leaf Federalism And Tenth Amendment Exceptionalism, Nelson Lund Apr 2005

Fig Leaf Federalism And Tenth Amendment Exceptionalism, Nelson Lund

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

The Supreme Court’s jurisprudence of federalism is at best undergoing an unfinished transformation, and is at worst just troubled and unsatisfying. In a little-noticed dissent in Tennessee v. Lane, Justice Scalia proposed an approach that could be generalized well beyond the specific position that he took in that case. Thus generalized, this approach may be understood as an elaboration of a proposal made by Justice O’Connor in her dissenting opinion twenty years ago in Garcia v. San Antonio Metro. Transit Auth. If adopted by the Court, this synthesis of the O’Connor and Scalia suggestions could work a ...


Modernization Of European Antitrust Enforcement: The Economics Of Regulatory Competition, Ben Depoorter, Francesco Parisi Apr 2005

Modernization Of European Antitrust Enforcement: The Economics Of Regulatory Competition, Ben Depoorter, Francesco Parisi

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

In this article we analyze the expected effects of regulatory overlap in European competition law resulting from Regulation 1/2003. Drawing upon recently developed economic theories of regulatory competition, our model foresees a number of qualitative adjustments resulting from this reform. On one hand, the direct applicability of the exemption provision should increase the overall amount of exemptions. On the other hand, a decentralized system permits private litigants' forum shopping, and parallel enforcement by multiple national competition authorities will drive up the number of infringement findings. Although the precise direction of substantive competition law is unclear, the overall effect is ...


The Ftc And State Action: Evolving Views On The Proper Role Of Government, John T. Delacourt, Todd Zywicki Mar 2005

The Ftc And State Action: Evolving Views On The Proper Role Of Government, John T. Delacourt, Todd Zywicki

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

The state action doctrine was born in an era of exceptional confidence in government, with governmental entities widely regarded as unbiased and conscientious defenders of the public interest. Over time, however, more cautious and skeptical theories of government began to gain sway. In particular, the school of thought known as “public choice” – which holds that governmental entities, like private firms, will act in their economic self-interest – began to influence both legal theory and competition policy. Indeed, a close examination of recent state action case law suggests that public choice thinking has driven a slow, but consistent, evolution of the doctrine ...


A Response To Professor Goldberg: An Anticompetitive Restraint By Any Other Name..., Timothy J. Muris Mar 2005

A Response To Professor Goldberg: An Anticompetitive Restraint By Any Other Name..., Timothy J. Muris

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

In ignoring the facts of the Three Tenors case and the transactions costs of legal rulemaking, Professor Goldberg would unnecessarily complicate antitrust law to the detriment of consumers. Contrary to his assertions, the FTC’s opinion does not favor ownership over contract. The parties could have chosen to coordinate Three Tenors products and promote a “brand,” but their contract explicitly provided otherwise. For a small class of cases – in which the parties restrain basic forms of competition such as price or advertising without a claim of consumer benefit – antitrust law avoids the costs of finding market power. In any event ...


Institutions, Incentives, And Consumer Bankruptcy Reform, Todd Zywicki Mar 2005

Institutions, Incentives, And Consumer Bankruptcy Reform, Todd Zywicki

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

Consumer bankruptcy filing rates have soared during the past 25 years. From 225,000 filings in 1979, consumer bankruptcies topped 1.5 million during 2004. This relentless upward trend is striking in light of the generally high prosperity, low interest rates, and low unemployment during that period. This anomaly of ever-upward bankruptcy filing rates during a period of economic prosperity had spurred calls to reform the Bankruptcy Code to place new conditions on bankruptcy relief. Although bankruptcy reform has drawn broad bipartisan support on Capitol Hill, these proposals have proven controversial within the academy. Critics have argued that these reforms ...


Overcoming Poletown: County Of Wayne V. Hathcock, Economic Development Takings, And The Future Of Public Use, Ilya Somin Mar 2005

Overcoming Poletown: County Of Wayne V. Hathcock, Economic Development Takings, And The Future Of Public Use, Ilya Somin

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

County of Wayne v. Hathcock is an important step forward in public use takings law. The Michigan Supreme Court was right to overturn its notorious 1981 Poletown decision and forbid condemnations that transfer property to private parties solely on the grounds that the new owners will contribute to “economic development.” Poletown was the best known and most widely criticized decision justifying a nearly unlimited condemnation power.

As the Poletown case dramatically demonstrates, the economic development rationale is a virtual blank check for eminent domain abuse for the benefit of private parties. Poletown upheld a condemnation as a result of which ...


Soft Regulators, Tough Judges, Gerrit De Geest, Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci Mar 2005

Soft Regulators, Tough Judges, Gerrit De Geest, Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

Judges have a tendency to be more demanding than regulators. In the United States, a majority of the courts has adopted the rule that the unexcused violation of a statutory standard is negligence per se. However, the converse does not hold: compliance with regulation does not relieve the injurer of tort liability. In most European legal systems, the outcome is similar. We use a framework in which, on the one hand, the effects of tort law are undermined by insolvency and evidence problems and, on the other hand, regulation is expensive in terms of monitoring and information gathering. We show ...


Taxing Utility, Terrence Chorvat Feb 2005

Taxing Utility, Terrence Chorvat

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

In order to assess the efficiency of a tax, we should examine its effect on the behavior of individuals. In general, the less a tax affects behavior, the more efficient it is thought to be. The standard example of a non-distorting tax is a lump-sum tax, which does not change with the behavior of the taxpayer. However, this article demonstrates that behavioral distortions can and do arise from a change in even a lump-sum tax. The only truly non-distortionary tax would be one based on utility itself. Utility, which has been used as a norm for distributional analysis, is also ...


Cross-Examining The Brain: A Legal Analysis Of Neural Imaging For Credibility Impeachment, Charles N. W. Keckler Feb 2005

Cross-Examining The Brain: A Legal Analysis Of Neural Imaging For Credibility Impeachment, Charles N. W. Keckler

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

The last decade has seen remarkable process in understanding ongoing psychological processes at the neurobiological level, progress that has been driven technologically by the spread of functional neuroimaging devices, especially magnetic resonance imaging, that have become the research tools of a theoretically sophisticated cognitive neuroscience. As this research turns to specification of the mental processes involved in interpersonal deception, the potential evidentiary use of material produced by devices for detecting deception, long stymied by the conceptual and legal limitations of the polygraph, must be re-examined. Although studies in this area are preliminary, and I conclude they have not yet satisfied ...


Disappearing Defendants V. Judgment Proof Injurers: Upgrading The Theory Of Tort Law Failures, Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci, Barbara Mangan Feb 2005

Disappearing Defendants V. Judgment Proof Injurers: Upgrading The Theory Of Tort Law Failures, Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci, Barbara Mangan

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

Do injurers’ insolvency and victims’ reluctance to sue affect accident prevention in the same way? Are these circumstances less of a problem under the negligence rule than under strict liability? We argue, contrary to the literature, that the answer is, in most cases, negative and make three main points. First, the judgment proof problem and the disappearing defendant problem are shown to have different effects on injurers’ behavior and hence yield dissimilar levels of social welfare. Second, when these two problems occur simultaneously they may have offsetting effects. Third, the negligence rule is superior to strict liability only under some ...