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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Social Science And The Analysis Of Environmental Policy, Cary Coglianese, Shana Starobin Feb 2020

Social Science And The Analysis Of Environmental Policy, Cary Coglianese, Shana Starobin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

As much as environmental problems manifest themselves as problems with the natural environment, environmental problems--and their solutions--are ultimately social and behavioral in nature. Just as the natural sciences provide a basis for understanding the need for environmental policy and informing its design, the social sciences also contribute in significant ways to the understanding of the behavioral sources of environmental problems, both in terms of individual incentives and collective action challenges. In addition, the social sciences have contributed much to the understanding of the ways that laws and other institutions can be designed to solve environmental problems. In this paper, we ...


Framing The Chicago School Of Antitrust Analysis, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Fiona Scott Morton Jun 2019

Framing The Chicago School Of Antitrust Analysis, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Fiona Scott Morton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Chicago School of antitrust has benefited from a great deal of law office history, written by admiring advocates rather than more dispassionate observers. This essay attempts a more neutral stance, looking at the ideology, political impulses, and economics that produced the Chicago School of antitrust policy and that account for its durability.

The origins of the Chicago School lie in a strong commitment to libertarianism and nonintervention. Economic models of perfect competition best suited these goals. The early strength of the Chicago School of antitrust was that it provided simple, convincing answers to everything that was wrong with antitrust ...


Health Care's Market Bureaucracy, Allison K. Hoffman May 2019

Health Care's Market Bureaucracy, Allison K. Hoffman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The last several decades of health law and policy have been built on a foundation of economic theory. This theory supported the proliferation of market-based policies that promised maximum efficiency and minimal bureaucracy. Neither of these promises has been realized. A mounting body of empirical research discussed in this Article makes clear that leading market-based policies are not efficient — they fail to capture what people want. Even more, this Article describes how the struggle to bolster these policies — through constant regulatory, technocratic tinkering that aims to improve the market and the decision-making of consumers in it — has produced a massive ...


Is Antitrust's Consumer Welfare Principle Imperiled?, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2019

Is Antitrust's Consumer Welfare Principle Imperiled?, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Antitrust’s consumer welfare principle stands for the proposition that antitrust policy should encourage markets to produce output as high as is consistent with sustainable competition, and prices that are accordingly as low. Such a policy does not protect every interest group. For example, it opposes the interests of cartels or other competition-limiting associations who profit from lower output and higher prices. It also runs counter to the interest of less competitive firms that need higher prices in order to survive. Market structure is relevant to antitrust policy, but its importance is contingent rather than absolute – that is, market structure ...


Whatever Did Happen To The Antitrust Movement?, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2018

Whatever Did Happen To The Antitrust Movement?, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Antitrust in the United States today is caught between its pursuit of technical rules designed to define and implement defensible economic goals, and increasing calls for a new antitrust “movement.” The goals of this movement have been variously defined as combating industrial concentration, limiting the economic or political power of large firms, correcting the maldistribution of wealth, control of high profits, increasing wages, or protection of small business. High output and low consumer prices are typically unmentioned.

In the 1960s the great policy historian Richard Hofstadter lamented the passing of the antitrust “movement” as one of the “faded passions of ...


Capturing Regulatory Reality: Stigler’S The Theory Of Economic Regulation, Christopher Carrigan, Cary Coglianese Jul 2016

Capturing Regulatory Reality: Stigler’S The Theory Of Economic Regulation, Christopher Carrigan, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper offers a retrospective assessment of economist George Stigler’s classic article, The Theory of Economic Regulation. Stigler argued that regulation is a product that, just like any other product, is produced in a market, and that it can be acquired from the governmental “marketplace” by business firms to serve their private interests and create barriers to entry for potential competitors. He challenged the idea that regulation arises solely to serve the public interest and demonstrated that important political advantages held by businesses can contribute to industry capture of the regulatory process. Although his argument was largely based on ...


Defending A Mixed Economy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp May 2016

Defending A Mixed Economy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay reviews Jacob S. Hacker's and Paul Pierson's very engaging book, American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget what Made America Prosper (2016).


The Progressives: Economics, Science, And Race, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2015

The Progressives: Economics, Science, And Race, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay is a brief review of Thomas C. Leonard, Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era (Princeton Univ. Press 2016).


Endogenous Decentralization In Federal Environmental Policies, Howard F. Chang, Hilary Sigman, Leah G. Traub Jan 2014

Endogenous Decentralization In Federal Environmental Policies, Howard F. Chang, Hilary Sigman, Leah G. Traub

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Under most federal environmental laws and some health and safety laws, states may apply for “primacy,” that is, authority to implement and enforce federal law, through a process known as “authorization.” Some observers fear that states use authorization to adopt more lax policies in a regulatory “race to the bottom.” This paper presents a simple model of the interaction between the federal and state governments in such a scheme of partial decentralization. Our model suggests that the authorization option may not only increase social welfare but also allow more stringent environmental regulations than would otherwise be feasible. Our model also ...


An Empirical Analysis Of Cost Recovery In Superfund Cases: Implications For Brownfields And Joint And Several Liability, Howard F. Chang, Hilary Sigman Jan 2014

An Empirical Analysis Of Cost Recovery In Superfund Cases: Implications For Brownfields And Joint And Several Liability, Howard F. Chang, Hilary Sigman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Economic theory developed in the prior literature indicates that under the joint and several liability imposed by the federal Superfund statute, the government should recover more of its costs of cleaning up contaminated sites than it would under nonjoint liability, and the amount recovered should increase with the number of defendants and with the independence among defendants in trial outcomes. We test these predictions empirically using data on outcomes in federal Superfund cases. Theory also suggests that this increase in the amount recovered may discourage the sale and redevelopment of potentially contaminated sites (or “brownfields”). We find the increase to ...


The Classical American State And The Regulation Of Morals, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Feb 2013

The Classical American State And The Regulation Of Morals, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The United States has a strong tradition of state regulation that stretches back to the Commonwealth ideal of Revolutionary times and grew steadily throughout the nineteenth century. But regulation also had more than its share of critics. A core principle of Jacksonian democracy was that too much regulation was for the benefit of special interests, mainly wealthier and propertied classes. The ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment after the Civil War provided the lever that laissez faire legal writers used to make a more coherent Constitutional case against increasing regulation. How much they actually succeeded has always been subject to dispute ...


Shleifer's Failure, Jonathan Klick Jan 2013

Shleifer's Failure, Jonathan Klick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Antitrust, The Internet, And The Economics Of Networks, Christopher S. Yoo, Daniel F. Spulber Jan 2013

Antitrust, The Internet, And The Economics Of Networks, Christopher S. Yoo, Daniel F. Spulber

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Network industries, including the Internet, have shown significant growth, substantial competition, and rapid innovation. This Chapter examines antitrust policy towards network industries. The discussion considers the policy implications of various concepts in the economics of networks: natural monopoly, network economic effects, vertical exclusion, and dynamic efficiency. Our analysis finds that antitrust policy makers should not presume that network industries are more subject to monopolization than other industries. We find that deregulation and the strength of competition in network industries have removed justifications for structural separation as a remedy. Also, we argue that that deregulation and competition have effectively eliminated support ...


The Marginalist Revolution In Corporate Finance: 1880-1965, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jul 2011

The Marginalist Revolution In Corporate Finance: 1880-1965, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries fundamental changes in economic thought revolutionized the theory of corporate finance, leading to changes in its legal regulation. The changes were massive, and this branch of financial analysis and law became virtually unrecognizable to those who had practiced it earlier. The source of this revision was the marginalist, or neoclassical, revolution in economic thought. The classical theory had seen corporate finance as an historical, relatively self-executing inquiry based on the classical theory of value and administered by common law courts. By contrast, neoclassical value theory was forward looking and as a result ...


Creation Without Restraint: Promoting Liberty And Rivalry In Innovation, Christina Bohannan, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2011

Creation Without Restraint: Promoting Liberty And Rivalry In Innovation, Christina Bohannan, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This document contains the table of contents, introduction, and a brief description of Christina Bohannan & Herbert Hovenkamp, Creation without Restraint: Promoting Liberty and Rivalry in Innovation (Oxford 2011).

Promoting rivalry in innovation requires a fusion of legal policies drawn from patent, copyright, and antitrust law, as well as economics and other disciplines. Creation Without Restraint looks first at the relationship between markets and innovation, noting that innovation occurs most in moderately competitive markets and that small actors are more likely to be truly creative innovators. Then we examine the problem of connected and complementary relationships, a dominant feature of high technology markets. Interconnection requirements, technological compatibility requirements, standard setting, and the relationship between durable products and aftermarkets all involve interconnection, or “tying.” Some see tying as inherently anticompetitive, while others view it as unexceptionally benign. In fact, bundling products or technologies is essential in high technology markets and most of it is socially beneficial, but possibilities of abuse nevertheless remain.

Identifying good substantive legal rules for facilitating innovation is often very difficult. Two generations ago antitrust law addressed problems of complexity by shifting the focus to harm. The courts reasoned that they could often avoid unmanageable substantive doctrine by considering whether the plaintiff had suffered the appropriate kind of injury. Plaintiffs who are injured by more rather than less competition should be denied a remedy. In the case of patent and copyright law, the appropriate question is whether an infringer’s conduct served to undermine the right holder’s incentive to innovate, with incentives measured from before the innovation occurred. Some IP infringements do no harm to the incentive to innovate; others actually make the right more rather than less valuable. In these situations relief should be denied.

Patent and copyright law are both in crisis today – major problems include overissuance, overly broad and ambiguously defined protections, and rules that permit both patentees and copyright holders to make broad claims on unforeseen innovations. The result has been that many patents are valueless, while others have very considerable value precisely because they enclose ideas or technologies that rightfully belong in the public domain. Patent law could be ...


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 Law Of Vertical Integration And The Business Firm: 1880-1960, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2010

The Law Of Vertical Integration And The Business Firm: 1880-1960, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Vertical integration occurs when a firm does something for itself that it could otherwise procure on the market. For example, a manufacturer that opens its own stores is said to be vertically integrated into distribution. One irony of history is that both classical political economy and neoclassicism saw vertical integration and vertical contractual arrangements as much less threatening to competition than cartels or other horizontal arrangements. Nevertheless, vertical integration has produced by far the greater amount of legislation at both federal and state levels and has motivated many more political action groups. Two things explain this phenomenon. First, while economists ...


Tracking Berle's Footsteps: The Trail Of The Modern Corporation's Law Chapter, William W. Bratton, Michael L. Wachter Jan 2010

Tracking Berle's Footsteps: The Trail Of The Modern Corporation's Law Chapter, William W. Bratton, Michael L. Wachter

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


A Comprehensive Theory Of Deal Structure: Understanding How Transactional Structure Creates Value, Michael S. Knoll, Daniel M. G. Raff Jan 2010

A Comprehensive Theory Of Deal Structure: Understanding How Transactional Structure Creates Value, Michael S. Knoll, Daniel M. G. Raff

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Passive Discrimination: When Does It Make Sense To Pay Too Little?, Jonah B. Gelbach, Jonathan Klick, Lesley Wexler Jan 2009

Passive Discrimination: When Does It Make Sense To Pay Too Little?, Jonah B. Gelbach, Jonathan Klick, Lesley Wexler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Economists have long recognized employers’ ability to construct benefits packages to induce workers to sort themselves into and out of jobs. For instance, to encourage applications from individuals with a highly valued but largely unobservable characteristic, such as patience, employers might offer benefits that patient individuals are likely to value more than other individuals. By offering a compensation package with highly valued benefits but a relatively low wage, employers will attract workers with the favored characteristic and discourage other individuals from applying for or accepting the job. While economic theory generally views this kind of self-selection in value neutral terms ...


Federalism, Variation, And State Regulation Of Franchise Termination, Jonathan Klick, Bruce Kobayashi, Larry Ribstein Jan 2009

Federalism, Variation, And State Regulation Of Franchise Termination, Jonathan Klick, Bruce Kobayashi, Larry Ribstein

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article discusses and expands on our recent work examining the effects of franchise-termination laws. In a prior article, we examined empirically the effect of franchise-termination laws on the level of franchise activity. Our analysis improved upon the prior literature in two major ways. First, our work exploited two new sources of panel data to provide new empirical evidence on the effect of franchise termination laws. Second, our analysis examined variation in states’ restrictions on the ability of franchisors and franchisees to contract around a particular state’s regulation. We found that the effects of termination laws on the overall ...


Neoclassicism And The Separation Of Ownership And Control, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2009

Neoclassicism And The Separation Of Ownership And Control, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

"Separation of ownership and control" is a phrase whose history will forever be associated with Adolf A. Berle and Gardiner C. Means' The Modern Corporation and Private Property (1932), as well as with Institutionalist economics, Legal Realism, and the New Deal. Within that milieu the large publicly held business corporation became identified with excessive managerial power at the expense of stockholders, social irresponsibility, and internal inefficiency. Neoclassical economists both then and ever since have generally been critical, both of the historical facts that Berle and Means purported to describe and of the conclusions that they drew. In fact, however, within ...


United States Competition Policy In Crisis: 1890-1955, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2009

United States Competition Policy In Crisis: 1890-1955, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The development of marginalist, or neoclassical, economics led to a fifty-year long crisis in competition theory. Given an industrial structure with sufficient fixed costs, competition always became "ruinous," forcing firms to cut prices to marginal cost without sufficient revenue remaining to pay off investment. Early neoclassicists such as Alfred Marshall were not able to solve this problem, and as a result many economists were hostile toward the antitrust laws in the early decades of the twentieth century. The ruinous competition debate came to an abrupt end in the early 1930's, when Joan Robinson and particularly Edward Chamberlin developed models ...


Immigration Restriction As Redistributive Taxation: Working Women And The Costs Of Protectionism In The Labor Market, Howard F. Chang Jan 2009

Immigration Restriction As Redistributive Taxation: Working Women And The Costs Of Protectionism In The Labor Market, Howard F. Chang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this paper, I argue that tax and transfer policies are more efficient than immigration restrictions as instruments for raising the after-tax incomes of the least skilled native workers. Policies to protect these native workers from immigrant competition in the labor market do no better at promoting distributive justice and are likely to impose a greater economic burden on natives in the country of immigration than the tax alternative. These immigration restrictions are especially costly given the disproportionate burden that they place on households with working women, which discourages female participation in the labor force. This burden runs contrary to ...


The Immigration Paradox: Alien Workers And Distributive Justice, Howard F. Chang Jul 2008

The Immigration Paradox: Alien Workers And Distributive Justice, Howard F. Chang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The immigration of relatively unskilled workers poses a fundamental problem for liberals. While from the perspective of the economic welfare of natives, the optimal policy would be to admit these aliens as guest workers, this policy would violate liberal ideals. These ideals would treat these workers as equals, entitled to access to citizenship and to the full set of public benefits provided to citizens. If the welfare of incumbent residents determines admissions policies, however, and we anticipate the fiscal burden that the immigration of the poor would impose, then our welfare criterion would preclude the admission of relatively unskilled workers ...


Agency Costs, Charitable Trusts, And Corporate Control: Evidence From Hershey's Kiss-Off, Jonathan Klick, Robert H. Sitkoff May 2008

Agency Costs, Charitable Trusts, And Corporate Control: Evidence From Hershey's Kiss-Off, Jonathan Klick, Robert H. Sitkoff

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In July 2002 the trustees of the Milton Hershey School Trust announced a plan to diversify the Trust’s investment portfolio by selling the Trust’s controlling interest in the Hershey Company. The Company’s stock jumped from $62.50 to $78.30 on news of the proposed sale. But the Pennsylvania Attorney General, who was then running for governor, opposed the sale on the ground that it would harm the local community. Shortly after the Attorney General obtained a preliminary injunction, the trustees abandoned the sale and the Company’s stock dropped to $65.00. Using standard event study ...


Private Equity's Three Lessons For Agency Theory, William W. Bratton Jan 2008

Private Equity's Three Lessons For Agency Theory, William W. Bratton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


The Disadvantages Of Immigration Restriction As A Policy To Improve Income Distribution, Howard F. Chang Jan 2008

The Disadvantages Of Immigration Restriction As A Policy To Improve Income Distribution, Howard F. Chang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this Article, I argue that tax and transfer policies are more efficient than immigration restrictions as instruments for raising the after tax incomes of the least skilled native workers. Policies to protect these native workers frol1'l immigrant competition in the labor market do no better at promoting distributive justice and are likely to impose a greater economic burden on natives in the country of immigration than the tax alternative. These immigration restrictions are especially costly given the disproportionate burden that they place on households with working women, which discourages fel1'wle participation in the labor force. This burden ...


The Legal Periphery Of Dominant Firm Conduct, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Sep 2007

The Legal Periphery Of Dominant Firm Conduct, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay explores two different but related problems and how U.S. antitrust law and EU competition law approach them. The first is the offense of attempt to monopolize, which concerns the acts that a firm that is not yet dominant might undertake in order to become dominant. The second is the offense of monopoly or dominant firm leveraging, which occurs when a firm uses its dominant position in one market to cause some kind of harm in a different market where it also does business.

The language of EU and U.S. provisions concerning dominant firms provokes one to ...


The Harvard And Chicago Schools And The Dominant Firm, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Sep 2007

The Harvard And Chicago Schools And The Dominant Firm, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Chicago School has produced many significant contributions to the antitrust literature of the last half century. Thanks in part to Chicago School efforts today we have an antitrust policy that is more rigorously economic, less concerned with protecting noneconomic values that are impossible to identify and weigh, and more confident that markets will correct themselves without government intervention. This Chicago School revolution came at the expense of the Harvard structural school, which flourished from the 1930s through the 1950s. That school rested on a fairly rigid theory of Cournot oligopoly, exaggerated notions about barriers and impediments to entry, and ...