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Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

2010

University of Pennsylvania Law School

Law and Economics

Law and economics

Articles 1 - 4 of 4

Full-Text Articles in Law

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 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 ...


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 ...


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 ...