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Series

SSRN

Columbia Law School

Law and Economics

2011

Articles 1 - 11 of 11

Full-Text Articles in Law

Making Coasean Property More Coasean, Thomas W. Merrill, Henry E. Smith Jan 2011

Making Coasean Property More Coasean, Thomas W. Merrill, Henry E. Smith

Faculty Scholarship

In his pioneering work on transaction costs, Ronald Coase presupposed a picture of property as a bundle of government-prescribed use rights. This picture is not only not essential to what Coase was trying to do, but its limitations emerge when we apply Coase’s central insights to analyze the structure of property itself. This leads to what we term the Coase Corollary: in a world of zero transaction costs the nature of property does not matter to allocative efficiency. But as with the Coase Theorem itself, the real point is the implication for a positive transaction cost world: we need ...


Mortgage Modification And Strategic Behavior: Evidence From A Legal Settlement With Countrywide, Christopher J. Mayer, Edward R. Morrison, Tomasz Piskorski, Arpit Gupta Jan 2011

Mortgage Modification And Strategic Behavior: Evidence From A Legal Settlement With Countrywide, Christopher J. Mayer, Edward R. Morrison, Tomasz Piskorski, Arpit Gupta

Faculty Scholarship

We investigate whether homeowners respond strategically to news of mortgage modification programs. We exploit plausibly exogenous variation in modification policy induced by U.S. state government lawsuits against Countrywide Financial Corporation, which agreed to offer modifications to seriously delinquent borrowers with subprime mortgages throughout the country. Using a difference-in-difference framework, we find that Countrywide's relative delinquency rate increased thirteen percent per month immediately after the program's announcement. The borrowers whose estimated default rates increased the most in response to the program were those who appear to have been the least likely to default otherwise, including those with substantial ...


Dodd-Frank For Bankruptcy Lawyers, Douglas G. Baird, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2011

Dodd-Frank For Bankruptcy Lawyers, Douglas G. Baird, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

The Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation creates an “Orderly Liquidation Authority” (OLA) that shares many features in common with the Bankruptcy Code. This is easy to overlook because the legislation uses a language and employs a decision-maker (both borrowed from bank regulation) that will seem foreign to bankruptcy lawyers. Our task in this essay is to identify the core congruities between OLA and the Code. In doing so, we highlight important differences and assess both their constitutionality and policy objectives. We conclude with a few thoughts on the likelihood that OLA will contribute to market stability.


Fiscal Policy In An Era Of Austerity, David M. Schizer Jan 2011

Fiscal Policy In An Era Of Austerity, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

We face a time of stagnant economic growth, severe unemployment, massive budget deficits, and an increasingly competitive global economy. Monetary policy is tapped out, and there is a great deal of uncertainty about the effectiveness of a traditional Keynesian stimulus – and, not surprisingly, a heated debate among economists. One thing we do know is that a stimulus is quite difficult to execute effectively. For example, it is a challenge to identify “shovel ready” projects that contribute to long-term economic growth, particularly on short notice. There is no uncertainty, though, about the need to address a broad range of specific problems ...


The Politics And Policy Of The Estate Tax – Past, Present, And Future, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2011

The Politics And Policy Of The Estate Tax – Past, Present, And Future, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

This paper is an edited transcript of the Lloyd Leva Plaine Distinguished Lecture, delivered at the University of Miami’s Heckerling Estate Planning Institute on January 11, 2011. It reviews the history of the estate tax, discusses the politics of its bizarre repeal for the year 2010 only, and outlines the forces that led to reinstatement of the tax for 2011 and 2012 with a $5 million exemption and 35 percent top rate. The paper makes clear that the coalition pushing for repeal of the estate tax will continue to work to eliminate it and also explores potential broader implications ...


Rethinking The Laws Of Good Faith Purchase, Alan Schwartz, Robert E. Scott Jan 2011

Rethinking The Laws Of Good Faith Purchase, Alan Schwartz, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

This article is a comparative economic analysis of the disparate doctrines governing the good faith purchase of stolen or misappropriated goods. Good faith purchase questions have occupied the courts and commentators of many nations for millennia. We argue that prior treatments have misconceived the economic problem. An owner of goods will take optimal precautions to prevent theft if she is faced with the loss of her goods; and a purchaser will make an optimal investigation into his seller’s title if the purchaser is faced with the loss of the goods. An owner and a buyer cannot both be faced ...


Incarceration And The Economic Fortunes Of Urban Neighborhoods, Jeffrey Fagan, Valerie West Jan 2011

Incarceration And The Economic Fortunes Of Urban Neighborhoods, Jeffrey Fagan, Valerie West

Faculty Scholarship

New research has identified the consequences of high rates of incarceration on neighborhood crime rates, but few studies have looked beyond crime to examine the collateral effects of incarceration on the social and economic well being of the neighborhoods themselves and their residents. We assess two specific indicia of neighborhood economic well-being, household income and human capital, dimensions that are robust predictors of elevated crime, enforcement and incarceration rates. We decompose incarceration effects by neighborhood racial composition and socio-economic conditions to account for structural disadvantages in labor force and access to wealth that flow from persistent patterns of residential segregation ...


Rethinking The Laws Of Good Faith Purchase, Alan Schwartz, Robert E. Scott Jan 2011

Rethinking The Laws Of Good Faith Purchase, Alan Schwartz, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

This article is a comparative economic analysis of the disparate doctrines governing the good faith purchase of stolen or misappropriated goods. Good faith purchase questions have occupied the courts and commentators of many nations for millennia. We argue that prior treatments have misconceived the economic problem. An owner of goods will take optimal precautions to prevent theft if she is faced with the loss of her goods; and a purchaser will make an optimal investigation into his seller’s title if the purchaser is faced with the loss of the goods. An owner and a buyer cannot both be faced ...


Cultivating Justice For The Working Poor: Clinical Representation Of Unemployment Claimants, Colleen F. Shanahan Jan 2011

Cultivating Justice For The Working Poor: Clinical Representation Of Unemployment Claimants, Colleen F. Shanahan

Faculty Scholarship

The combination of current economic conditions and recent changes in the United States’ welfare system makes representation of unemployment insurance claimants by clinic students a timely learning opportunity. While unemployment insurance claimants often share similarities with student attorneys, they are unable to access justice as easily as student attorneys, and as a result, face the risk of severe poverty. Clinical representation of unemployment claimants is a rich opportunity for students to experience making a difference for a client, and to understand the issues of poverty and justice that these clients experience along the way. These cases reveal that larger lessons ...


Maximizing Autonomy In The Shadow Of Great Powers: The Political Economy Of Sovereign Wealth Funds, Kyle J. Hatton, Katharina Pistor Jan 2011

Maximizing Autonomy In The Shadow Of Great Powers: The Political Economy Of Sovereign Wealth Funds, Kyle J. Hatton, Katharina Pistor

Faculty Scholarship

Sovereign wealth funds (“SWFs”) have received a great deal of attention since they appeared as critical investors during the global financial crisis. Reactions have ranged from fears of state intervention and mercantilism to hopes that SWFs will emerge as model long-term investors that will take on risky investments in green technology and infrastructure that few private investors are willing to touch. In this paper we argue that both of these reactions overlook the fact that SWFs are deeply embedded in the political economy of their respective sovereign sponsors. This paper focuses on four political entities that sponsor some of the ...


Traynor (Drennan) V. Hand (Baird): Much Ado About (Almost) Nothing, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2011

Traynor (Drennan) V. Hand (Baird): Much Ado About (Almost) Nothing, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

Most Contracts casebooks feature either Baird v. Gimbel or Drennan v. Star Paving to illustrate the limits on revocability of an offer. In this paper an analysis of the case law yields three major conclusions. First, as is generally known, in the contractor-subcontractor cases Drennan has prevailed. However, both it and its spawn, Restatement 2d 87(2), have had almost no impact outside that narrow area. Moreover, almost all the cases involve public construction projects – private projects account for only about ten percent of the cases. This suggests that private parties have managed to resolve the problem contractually. Public contract ...