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Full-Text Articles in Law

Resale Price Maintenance: Consignment Agreements, Copyrighted Or Patented Products And The First Sale Doctrine, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2010

Resale Price Maintenance: Consignment Agreements, Copyrighted Or Patented Products And The First Sale Doctrine, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The rule of reason adopted for resale price maintenance in the Supreme Court’s Leegin decision, which upset the century old Dr. Miles rule of per se illegality, requires some reconsideration of a number of issues about antitrust treatment of RPM. Under the old per se rule, bona fide “consignment” agreements were not covered by Section 1 of the Sherman Act at all because there was said to be no qualifying “agreement” between the supplier and the dealer. Rather the dealer was simply said to be acting as an agent of the seller. However, insofar as RPM produces competitive dangers ...


Leegin, The Rule Of Reason, And Vertical Agreement, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2010

Leegin, The Rule Of Reason, And Vertical Agreement, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Supreme Court’s Leegin decision overturned the longstanding rule of per se illegality for resale price maintenance and applied a rule of reason. One might think that the question whether a vertical “agreement” exists between a manufacturer and a dealer should not be affected by the mode of analysis to be applied after an agreement is found. First one asks whether an agreement exists, and determines whether the per se rule or rule of reason applies only after receiving an affirmative answer. Nevertheless, ever since Colgate the Supreme Court has generally taken a more restrictive approach on the agreement ...


Does It Hurt A State To Introduce An Income Tax?, David J. Shakow Dec 2010

Does It Hurt A State To Introduce An Income Tax?, David J. Shakow

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In an article in the Wall Street Journal, Arthur Laffer argued that, since 1960, the introduction of state income taxes reduced the relative size of a state’s gross state product and its relative per capita personal income. This paper criticizes Laffer’s conclusions on a number of grounds. 1. He uses incorrect figures for per capita income. In fact, relative per capita income rose in a majority of states that introduced an income tax since 1960. 2. The results are not clear when a state’s data is compared to other states in its region, rather than to the ...


Vertical Restraints, Dealers With Power, And Antitrust Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2010

Vertical Restraints, Dealers With Power, And Antitrust Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Supreme Court’s Leegin decision has now brought the rule of reason to all purely vertical intrabrand distribution restraints. But the rule of reason does not mean per se legality and occasions for anticompetitive vertically imposed restraints may still arise. Of all those that have been suggested the most plausible are vertical restraints imposed at the behest of a powerful dealer or group (cartel) of dealers.

Although a vertical distribution restraint resembles a dealer cartel in that both limit intraband competition, a manufacturer restraining the distribution of its product shuns the excess dealer profits a dealer cartel would seek ...


Recessions And The Social Safety Net: The Alternative Minimum Tax As A Counter-Cyclical Fiscal Stabilizer, Brian Galle, Jonathan Klick Dec 2010

Recessions And The Social Safety Net: The Alternative Minimum Tax As A Counter-Cyclical Fiscal Stabilizer, Brian Galle, Jonathan Klick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

As recent events illustrate, state finances are procyclical: during recessions, state revenues crash, worsening the effects of economic downturns. This problem is well known, yet persistent. We argue here that, in light of predictable federalism and political economy dynamics, states will be unable to change this situation on their own. Additionally, we note that many possible federal remedies may result in worse problems, such as by creating moral hazard that would induce states to take on excessively risky policy, both fiscal and otherwise. Thus, we argue that policymakers should consider so-called “automatic” stabilizers, such as are found in the federal ...


The New Financial Deal: Understanding The Dodd-Frank Act And Its (Unintended) Consequences, David A. Skeel Jr. Oct 2010

The New Financial Deal: Understanding The Dodd-Frank Act And Its (Unintended) Consequences, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Contrary to rumors that the Dodd-Frank Act is an incoherent mess, its 2,319 pages have two very clear objectives: limiting the risk of the shadow banking system by more carefully regulating derivatives and large financial institutions; and limiting the damage caused by a financial institution’s failure. The new legislation also has a theme: government partnership with the largest Wall Street banks. The vision emerged almost by accident from the Bear Stearns and AIG bailouts of 2008 and the commandeering of the bankruptcy process to rescue Chrysler and GM in 2009. Its implications for derivatives regulation could prove beneficial ...


Do Judges Vary In Their Treatment Of Race?, David S. Abrams, Marianne Bertrand, Sendhil Mullainathan Sep 2010

Do Judges Vary In Their Treatment Of Race?, David S. Abrams, Marianne Bertrand, Sendhil Mullainathan

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Are minorities treated differently by the legal system? Systematic racial differences in case characteristics, many unobservable, make this a difficult question to answer directly. In this paper, we estimate whether judges differ from each other in how they sentence minorities, avoiding potential bias from unobservable case characteristics by exploiting the random assignment of cases to judges. We measure the between-judge variation in the difference in incarceration rates and sentence lengths between African-American and White defendants. We perform a Monte Carlo simulation in order to explicitly construct the appropriate counterfactual, where race does not influence judicial sentencing. In our data set ...


The Effect Of Allowing Pollution Offsets With Imperfect Enforcement, Hilary A. Sigman, Howard F. Chang Sep 2010

The Effect Of Allowing Pollution Offsets With Imperfect Enforcement, Hilary A. Sigman, Howard F. Chang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Several pollution control regimes, including climate change policies, allow polluters in one sector subject to an emissions cap to offset excessive emissions in that sector with pollution abatement in another sector. The government may often find it more costly to verify offset claims than to verify compliance with emissions caps, and concerns about difficulties in enforcement may lead regulators to restrict the use of offsets. In this paper, we demonstrate that allowing offsets may increase pollution abatement and reduce illegal pollution, even if the government has a fixed enforcement budget. We explore the circumstances that may make it preferable to ...


Coasean Markets, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Aug 2010

Coasean Markets, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Coase’s work emphasized the economic importance of very small markets and made a new, more marginalist form of economic “institutionalism” acceptable within mainstream economics. A Coasean market is an association of persons with competing claims on a legal entitlement that can be traded. The boundaries of both Coasean markets and Coasean firms are determined by measuring not only the costs of bargaining but also the absolute costs of moving resources from one place to another. The boundaries of a Coasean market, just as those of the Coasean business firm, are defined by the line where the marginal cost of ...


American Needle And The Boundaries Of The Firm In Antitrust Law, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Aug 2010

American Needle And The Boundaries Of The Firm In Antitrust Law, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In American Needle the Supreme Court unanimously held that for the practice at issue the NFL should be treated as a “combination” of its teams rather than a single entity. However, the arrangement must be assessed under the rule of reason. The opinion, written by Justice Stevens, was almost certainly his last opinion for the Court in an antitrust case; Justice Stevens had been a dissenter in the Supreme Court’s Copperweld decision 25 years earlier, which held that a parent corporation and its wholly owned subsidiary constituted a single “firm” for antitrust purposes. The Sherman Act speaks to this ...


Securities Intermediaries And The Separation Of Ownership From Control, Jill E. Fisch Jul 2010

Securities Intermediaries And The Separation Of Ownership From Control, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Modern Corporation and Private Property highlighted the evolving separation of ownership and control in the public corporation and the effects of that separation on the allocation of power within the corporation. This essay explores the implications of intermediation for those themes. The article observes that intermediation, by decoupling economic ownership and decision-making authority within the shareholder, creates a second layer of agency issues beyond those identified by Berle and Means. These agency issues are an important consideration in the current debate over shareholder empowerment. The article concludes by considering the hypothetical shareholder construct implicit in the Berle and Means ...


American Needle: The Sherman Act, Conspiracy, And Exclusion, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jun 2010

American Needle: The Sherman Act, Conspiracy, And Exclusion, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay, part of a colloquium in the CPI Antitrust Journal, explores the meaning and significance of the Supreme Court’s decision in American Needle v. NFL. The Supreme Court held that for purposes of the dispute at hand the NFL should be treated as a collaboration of its member teams rather than a single entity. The factors that the Supreme Court considered most important were, first, that the NFL’s member teams are individually owned profit making entities who compete with each other in at least some economic markets, such as that for the sale of apparel bearing NFL ...


Insurance In Sociolegal Research, Tom Baker May 2010

Insurance In Sociolegal Research, Tom Baker

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Insurance has a long history in sociolegal research, most prominently as a window on accident compensation and related tort law in action. Recent work has extended that research, with the result that tort law in action may be the best mapped of any legal field outside criminal law. Sociological research has begun to explore insurance as a form of governance, with effects in many legal fields and across the economy. This essay reviews developments in both bodies of work. Part one examines the relationship between liability insurance and tort law in action using the metaphors of window and frame. Part ...


Global Warming Advocacy Science: A Cross Examination, Jason S. Johnston May 2010

Global Warming Advocacy Science: A Cross Examination, Jason S. Johnston

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Legal scholarship has come to accept as true the various pronouncements of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other scientists who have been active in the movement for greenhouse gas (ghg) emission reductions to combat global warming. The only criticism that legal scholars have had of the story told by this group of activist scientists – what may be called the climate establishment – is that it is too conservative in not paying enough attention to possible catastrophic harm from potentially very high temperature increases. This paper departs from such faith in the climate establishment by comparing the picture of ...


Network Neutrality Or Internet Innovation?, Christopher S. Yoo Apr 2010

Network Neutrality Or Internet Innovation?, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Over the past two decades, the Internet has undergone an extensive re-ordering of its topology that has resulted in increased variation in the price and quality of its services. Innovations such as private peering, multihoming, secondary peering, server farms, and content delivery networks have caused the Internet’s traditionally hierarchical architecture to be replaced by one that is more heterogeneous. Relatedly, network providers have begun to employ an increasingly varied array of business arrangements and pricing. This variation has been interpreted by some as network providers attempting to promote their self interest at the expense of the public. In fact ...


The Ftc's Anticompetitive Pricing Case Against Intel, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Feb 2010

The Ftc's Anticompetitive Pricing Case Against Intel, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The FTC’s wide ranging complaint against Intel Corporation indicates that the FTC intends to rely on the “unfair methods of competition” language in §5 of the FTC Act to reach beyond the proscriptions on unilateral conduct contained in §2 of the Sherman Act. The Supreme Court has expressly authorized such expansion, and statutory text, legislative history and legal policy all support it. While §2 reaches only conduct that threatens to “monopolize” a market, the “unfair methods of competition” language can reach improper abuses of a dominant position that fall short of creating monopoly. Further, the FTC has expertise that ...


Intra-Enterprise Activity, Joint Ventures And Sports Leagues: Identifying Unilateral Conduct Under The Antitrust Laws, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2010

Intra-Enterprise Activity, Joint Ventures And Sports Leagues: Identifying Unilateral Conduct Under The Antitrust Laws, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In the American Needle case the Supreme Court will consider whether the NFL’s decision to give an exclusive trademark license to one firm should be counted as “unilateral” on the NFL’s part, or rather as the concerted joint venture activity of the NFL’s individual member teams. The intellectual property in question is not trademarks in the NFL itself, but rather the trademarks and other intellectual property developed separately by each individual team, and which the teams in turn have licensed exclusively to the NFL.

In general, when a joint venture is engaged in its own business the ...


The Insurance Industry's Antitrust Immunity, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2010

The Insurance Industry's Antitrust Immunity, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The 1945 McCarran-Ferguson Act provides that federal legislation generally, including the antitrust laws, is “applicable to the business of insurance [only] to the extent that such business is not regulated by State law.” The statute was enacted after United States v. South Eastern Underwriters Assn. (1944), held that insurance transactions were “interstate commerce” and thus subject to the antitrust laws. That case had in turn undermined the traditional view expressed in Paul v. Virginia (1868), that insurance was not interstate commerce, but strictly local transactions. The South Eastern case followed in turn upon the Supreme Court's decision in Wickard ...


Oil And Water: Mixing Individual Mandates, Fragmented Markets, And Health Reform, Allison K. Hoffman Jan 2010

Oil And Water: Mixing Individual Mandates, Fragmented Markets, And Health Reform, Allison K. Hoffman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

With momentum toward national health reform, there is wide support for legislation to include an individual mandate that would require all Americans to carry health insurance. Discussion of the individual mandate has relied largely on whether the mandate will generate universal coverage as a gauge for success. This article challenges the notion that an individual mandate is successful if it leads to universal coverage, revealing a critical problem the individual mandate will face even if all Americans were to have health insurance. To uncover this problem, this article sets out a novel framework that disentangles the three different policy objectives ...


Ip And Antitrust: Reformation And Harm, Christina Bohannan, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2010

Ip And Antitrust: Reformation And Harm, Christina Bohannan, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Antitrust and intellectual property law both seek to improve economic welfare by facilitating competition and investment in innovation. At various times both antitrust and IP law have wandered off this course and have become more driven by special interests. Today, antitrust and IP are on very different roads to reform. Antitrust reform began in the late 1970s with a series of Supreme Court decisions that linked the plaintiff’s harm and right to obtain a remedy to the competition - furthering goals of antitrust policy. Today, patent law has begun its own reform journey, but it is in a much earlier ...


The Hidden Function Of Takings Compensation, Abraham Bell, Gideon Parchomovsky Jan 2010

The Hidden Function Of Takings Compensation, Abraham Bell, Gideon Parchomovsky

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Harvard, Chicago And Transaction Cost Economics In Antitrust Analysis, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2010

Harvard, Chicago And Transaction Cost Economics In Antitrust Analysis, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Since Oliver Williamson published Markets and Hierarchies in 1975 transaction cost economics (TCE) has claimed an important place in antitrust, avoiding the extreme positions of the two once reigning schools of antitrust policy. At one extreme was the “structural” school, which saw market structure as the principal determinant of poor economic performance. At the other extreme was the Chicago School, which also saw the economic landscape in terms of competition and monopoly, but found monopoly only infrequently and denied that a monopolist could “leverage” its power into related markets. Since the 1970s both the structural and Chicago positions have moved ...


The Distortionary Effect Of Evidence On Primary Behavior, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein Jan 2010

The Distortionary Effect Of Evidence On Primary Behavior, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this Essay, we analyze how evidentiary concerns dominate actors’ behavior. Our findings offer an important refinement to the conventional wisdom in law and economics literature, which assumes that legal rules can always be fashioned to achieve socially optimal outcomes. We show that evidentiary motivations will often lead actors to engage in socially suboptimal behavior when doing so is likely to increase their likelihood of prevailing in court. Because adjudicators must base decisions on observable and verifiable information—or, in short, evidence—rational actors will always strive to generate evidence that can later be presented in court and increase their ...


The Federal Trade Commission And The Sherman Act, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2010

The Federal Trade Commission And The Sherman Act, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The FTC has explicit antitrust authority to enforce the Clayton Act, although not the Sherman Act. More than a half century ago, however, the Supreme Court held that the FTC Act’s prohibition of “unfair methods of competition” reaches everything the Sherman Act reaches and also a “penumbra” of practices that are not technical Sherman Act violations. That view, which had fallen into disuse in recent decades, is now being revived.

This essay defends a limited version of that “penumbra” view and suggests several applications. First, while both Sherman Act provisions are open ended in their coverage, they have limitations ...


Tying Arrangements And Antitrust Harm, Erik Hovenkamp, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2010

Tying Arrangements And Antitrust Harm, Erik Hovenkamp, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

A tying arrangement is a seller’s requirement that a customer may purchase its “tying” product only by taking its “tied” product. In a variable proportion tie the purchaser can vary the amount of the tied product. For example, a customer might purchase a single printer, but either a contract or technological design requires the purchase of varying numbers of printer cartridges from the same manufacturer.

Such arrangements are widely considered to be price discrimination devices, but their economic effects have been controversial. Tying has been attacked on the theory that price discrimination of this sort reduces consumer welfare. We ...


Lyondell: A Note Of Approbation, William W. Bratton Jan 2010

Lyondell: A Note Of Approbation, William W. Bratton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Race, Sex, And Rulemaking: Administrative Constitutionalism And The Workplace, 1960 To The Present, Sophia Z. Lee Jan 2010

Race, Sex, And Rulemaking: Administrative Constitutionalism And The Workplace, 1960 To The Present, Sophia Z. Lee

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Allowing Patients To Waive The Right To Sue For Medical Malpractice: A Response To Thaler And Sunstein, Tom Baker, Timothy D. Lytton Jan 2010

Allowing Patients To Waive The Right To Sue For Medical Malpractice: A Response To Thaler And Sunstein, Tom Baker, Timothy D. Lytton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay critically evaluates Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein’s proposal to allow patients to prospectively waive their rights to bring a malpractice claim, presented in their recent, much acclaimed book, Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness. We show that the behavioral insights that undergird Nudge do not support the waiver proposal. In addition, we demonstrate that Thaler and Sunstein have not provided a persuasive cost-benefit justification for the proposal. Finally, we argue that their liberty-based defense of waivers rests on misleading analogies and polemical rhetoric that ignore the liberty and other interests served by patients’ tort law ...


Tontines For The Invincibles: Enticing Low Risks Into The Health-Insurance Pool With An Idea From Insurance History And Behavioral Economics, Tom Baker, Peter Siegelman Jan 2010

Tontines For The Invincibles: Enticing Low Risks Into The Health-Insurance Pool With An Idea From Insurance History And Behavioral Economics, Tom Baker, Peter Siegelman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Over one third of the uninsured adults in the U.S. below retirement age are between 19 and 29 years old. Young adults, especially men, often go without insurance, even when buying it is mandatory and sometimes even when it is a low cost employment benefit. This paper proposes a new form of health insurance targeted at this group—the “Young Invincibles”—those who (wrongly) believe that they don’t need health insurance because they won’t get sick. Our proposal offers a cash bonus to those who turn out to be right in their belief that they did not ...


Innovations In The Internet’S Architecture That Challenge The Status Quo, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2010

Innovations In The Internet’S Architecture That Challenge The Status Quo, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The current debate over broadband policy has largely overlooked a number of changes to the architecture of the Internet that have caused the price paid by and quality of service received by traffic traveling across the Internet to vary widely. Topological innovations, such as private peering, multihoming, secondary peering, server farms, and content delivery networks, have caused the Internet’s traditionally hierarchical architecture to be replaced by one that is more heterogeneous. Moreover, network providers have begun to employ an increasingly varied array of business arrangements. Some of these innovations are responses to the growing importance of peer-to-peer technologies. Others ...