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Series

SSRN

Columbia Law School

2007

Law and Economics

Articles 1 - 13 of 13

Full-Text Articles in Law

Just One Click: The Reality Of Internet Retail Contracting, Ronald J. Mann, Travis Siebeneicher Jan 2007

Just One Click: The Reality Of Internet Retail Contracting, Ronald J. Mann, Travis Siebeneicher

Faculty Scholarship

Scholars for decades have noted the possibility that standard-form contracts disadvantage consumers. For many years, that literature focused on the idea that sellers with market power draft contracts that are disadvantageous to consumers. Law and economics scholars, however, have been skeptical about that hypothesis, pointing out that a strategy of inefficient terms rarely would be the optimal technique for exploiting market power. In recent years, however, the debate has shifted as new product distribution channels have changed the technology of contracting. Now, even firms without market power can exploit the cognitive failures of their customers through "shrouding" of terms and ...


Dividend Taxation In Europe: When The Ecj Makes Tax Policy, Alvin C. Warren, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2007

Dividend Taxation In Europe: When The Ecj Makes Tax Policy, Alvin C. Warren, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

This article analyzes a complex line of recent decisions in which the European Court of Justice has set forth its vision of a nondiscriminatory system for taxing corporate income distributed as dividends within the European Union. We begin by identifying the principal tax policy issues that arise in constructing a system for taxing cross-border dividends and then review the standard solutions found in national legislation and international tax treaties. Against that background, we examine in detail a dozen of the Court's decisions, half of which have been handed down since 2006. Our conclusion is that the ECJ is applying ...


Lawyers Asleep At The Wheel? The Gm-Fisher Body Contract, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2007

Lawyers Asleep At The Wheel? The Gm-Fisher Body Contract, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

In the analysis of vertical integration by contract versus ownership one event has dominated the discussion – General Motors' merger with Fisher Body in 1926. The debates have all been premised on the assumption that the ten-year contract between the parties signed in 1919 was a legally enforceable agreement. However, it was not. Because Fisher's promise was illusory the contract lacked consideration. This note suggests that GM's counsel must have known this. It raises a significant question in transactional engineering: what is the function of an agreement that is not legally enforceable.


Reconfiguring Industrial Policy: A Framework With An Application To South Africa, Ricardo Hausmann, Dani Rodrik, Charles F. Sabel Jan 2007

Reconfiguring Industrial Policy: A Framework With An Application To South Africa, Ricardo Hausmann, Dani Rodrik, Charles F. Sabel

Faculty Scholarship

The main purpose of industrial policy is to speed up the process of structural change towards higher productivity activities. This paper builds on our earlier writings to present an overall design for the conduct of industrial policy in a low- to middle-income country. It is stimulated by the specific problems faced by South Africa and by our discussions with business and government officials in that country. We present specific recommendations for the South African government in the penultimate section of the paper.


Reputational Sanctions In China's Securities Market, Benjamin L. Liebman, Curtis J. Milhaupt Jan 2007

Reputational Sanctions In China's Securities Market, Benjamin L. Liebman, Curtis J. Milhaupt

Faculty Scholarship

Literature suggests two distinct paths to stock market development: an approach based on legal protections for investors, and an approach based on self-regulation of listed companies by stock exchanges. This paper traces China's attempts to pursue both approaches, while focusing on the role of the stock exchanges as regulators. Specifically, the paper examines a fascinating but unstudied aspect of Chinese securities regulation, namely, public criticism of listed companies by the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges. Based on both event study methodology and extensive interviews of market actors, we find that the criticisms have significant effects on listed companies and their ...


Cleaning Up Lake River, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2007

Cleaning Up Lake River, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

A casebook favorite for exploring the liquidated damage-penalty clause distinction is Lake River v. Carborundum in which Judge Posner found a minimum quantity clause to be an unenforceable penalty clause. In this paper I argue that the case was framed improperly. Had the litigators recognized that the contract afforded one party an option, the result should have been different. The contract was for the provision of a service – setting aside capacity – which was valuable to the buyer and costly to provide for the seller. The primary purpose of the minimum quantity clause was the pricing of that service. The case ...


Law And The Market: The Impact Of Enforcement, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2007

Law And The Market: The Impact Of Enforcement, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

The intensity of enforcement efforts by securities regulators varies widely among financially developed nations, but countries with "common law origins" appear to systematically expend more on securities regulation than countries with "civil law origins." However, whether this variable of relative enforcement intensity explains the greater financial development of countries with common law origins or is instead the product of that differential in development remains open to question and depends on the direction of causality. This paper examines several explanations and prefers the hypothesis that enforcement intensity is a product of the level of retail ownership in the jurisdiction, with a ...


Transparency And Determinacy In Common Law Adjudication: A Philosophical Defense Of Explanatory Economic Analysis, Jody S. Kraus Jan 2007

Transparency And Determinacy In Common Law Adjudication: A Philosophical Defense Of Explanatory Economic Analysis, Jody S. Kraus

Faculty Scholarship

Explanatory economic analysis of the common law has long been subject to deep philosophical skepticism for two reasons. First, common law decisions appear to be cast in the language of deontic morality, not the consequentialist language of efficiency. For this reason, philosophers have claimed that explanatory economic analysis cannot satisfy the transparency criterion, which holds that a legal theory's explanation must provide a plausible account of the relationship between the reasoning it claims judges actually use to decide cases and the express reasoning judges provide in their opinions. Philosophers have doubted that the economic analysis has a plausible account ...


Controlling Family Shareholders In Developing Countries: Anchoring Relational Exchange, Ronald J. Gilson Jan 2007

Controlling Family Shareholders In Developing Countries: Anchoring Relational Exchange, Ronald J. Gilson

Faculty Scholarship

The Law and Finance account of the ubiquity of controlling shareholders in developing markets is based on conditions in the capital market: poor shareholder protection law prevents controlling shareholders from parting with control out of fear of exploitation by a new controlling shareholder who acquires a controlling position in the market. This explanation, however, does not address why we observe any minority shareholders in such markets, or why controlling shareholders in developing markets are most often family-based. This paper looks at the impact of bad law on shareholder distribution in a very different way. Developing countries typically provide not only ...


Making Sense Of Nation-Level Bankruptcy Filing Rates, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2007

Making Sense Of Nation-Level Bankruptcy Filing Rates, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

Increased rates of consumer bankruptcy filings are a policy concern around the world. It is not easy, however, to explain the variations in per capita filing rates from country to country. Some of the variation is attributable to different levels of indebtedness. Some is attributable to different cultural attitudes about financial failure. And some is attributable to the accessibility of the legal system as a remedy for irremediable financial distress.

This paper analyzes the differences in nation-level, per capita filing rates. I start with a model that uses economic variables to explain nation-level variations in filing rates. The economic and ...


Law And Capitalism: What Corporate Crises Reveal About Legal Systems And Economic Development Around The World, Curtis J. Milhaupt, Katharina Pistor Jan 2007

Law And Capitalism: What Corporate Crises Reveal About Legal Systems And Economic Development Around The World, Curtis J. Milhaupt, Katharina Pistor

Faculty Scholarship

This book explores the relationship between legal systems and economic development by examining, through a methodology we call the institutional autopsy, a series of high profile corporate governance crises around the world over the past six years. We begin by exposing hidden assumptions in the prevailing view on the relationship between law and markets, and provide a new analytical framework for understanding this question. Our framework moves away from the canonical distinction between common law and civil law regimes. It emphasizes the constant, iterative, rolling relationship between law and markets, and suggests that how a given country's legal system ...


Relational Tax Planning Under Risk-Based Rules, Alex Raskolnikov Jan 2007

Relational Tax Planning Under Risk-Based Rules, Alex Raskolnikov

Faculty Scholarship

Risk-based rules are the tax system's primary response to aggressive tax planning. They usually grant benefits only to those taxpayers who accept risk of changes in market prices (market risk) or business opportunities (business risk). Attempts to circumvent these rules by hedging, contractual safeguards, and diversification are well-understood. The same cannot be said about a very different type of tax planning. Instead of reducing risk directly, some taxpayers change the nature of risk. They enter into informal, legally unenforceable agreements with contractual counterparties that are designed to eliminate market or business risk entirely. The new uncertainty these tax planners ...


Timbers Of Inwood Forest, The Economics Of Rent, And The Evolving Dynamics Of Chapter 11, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2007

Timbers Of Inwood Forest, The Economics Of Rent, And The Evolving Dynamics Of Chapter 11, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

The Supreme Court's decision in Timbers of Inwood Forest occupies an unhappy position in bankruptcy case law. It is often remembered as a troubled interpretation of the Code, denying undersecured creditors compensation for an important source of depreciation – depreciation in the real value of a creditor's claim during a lengthy reorganization process. But Timbers was not a simple case in which a bank was denied adequate protection for lost investment opportunities. It was instead a case in which the bank tried to opt out of the bankruptcy process itself. The debtor was an apartment complex. After it entered ...