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Full-Text Articles in Law

Guide On Incentives For Responsible Investment In Agriculture And Food Systems, Anna Bulman, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Ladan Mehranvar, Ella Merrill, Yannick Fiedler May 2021

Guide On Incentives For Responsible Investment In Agriculture And Food Systems, Anna Bulman, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Ladan Mehranvar, Ella Merrill, Yannick Fiedler

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

To support implementation of the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS RAI), CCSI has developed resources for governments and other stakeholders in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

This work includes an online course on creating an enabling environment for responsible investment in agriculture and food systems. The course is freely available, accessible online and available for download. Part I highlights the features and key players of an enabling environment that promotes responsible investment in agriculture and food security. Part II addresses multi-stakeholder engagement in the design of legal and ...


Covid-19 And Land-Based Investment: Changing Landscapes, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Nathaniah Jacobs, Clarisse Marsac May 2021

Covid-19 And Land-Based Investment: Changing Landscapes, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Nathaniah Jacobs, Clarisse Marsac

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

CCSI, IIED, and Namati are partnering on a new initiative to support governments, civil society, local communities, and private sector actors in improving the governance and practices of land-based investments.

Recognizing that more and better private sector investment is widely seen as critical to advancing economic development and achieving the SDGs in low- and middle-income countries, this initiative responds to concerns that land-based investments have resulted in land dispossession, environmental degradation, and conflict.

The Advancing Land-based Investment Governance (ALIGN) project involves:

  • Sustained, in-depth work in up to three countries, including Sierra Leone, to support policy development and implementation, legal empowerment ...


The Impact Of Particular Provisions Of The 2017 Tax Cuts And Jobs Act On The United States Economy Amidst The Covid-19 Pandemic, Hillary Obinna Maduka Jan 2021

The Impact Of Particular Provisions Of The 2017 Tax Cuts And Jobs Act On The United States Economy Amidst The Covid-19 Pandemic, Hillary Obinna Maduka

LL.M. Essays & Theses

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is the most significant overhaul of the U.S. federal tax system in the last two decades. This paper seeks to discuss some of its most significant provisions and examine their overall impact on the U.S. economy, especially throughout the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

This paper begins by undertaking an overview of the legislative history of the Act and then proceeds to discuss three provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts which have had a tremendous impact on the U.S. economy by altering some major provisions of the United States Internal Revenue ...


Price Gouging In A Pandemic, Christopher Buccafusco, Daniel Jacob Hemel, Eric L. Talley Jan 2021

Price Gouging In A Pandemic, Christopher Buccafusco, Daniel Jacob Hemel, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has led to acute supply shortages across the country as well as concerns over price increases amid surging demand. In the process, it has reawakened a debate about whether and how to regulate “price gouging.” Animating this controversy is a longstanding conflict between laissez-faire economics (which champions price fluctuations as a means to allocate scarce goods) and perceived norms of consumer fairness (which are thought to cut strongly against sharp price hikes amid shortages). This article provides a new, empirically grounded perspective on the price gouging debate that challenges several aspects of conventional wisdom. We report ...


Obsolescence: The Intractable Production Problem In Contract Law, Robert E. Scott, Alan Schwartz Jan 2021

Obsolescence: The Intractable Production Problem In Contract Law, Robert E. Scott, Alan Schwartz

Faculty Scholarship

Contract law has long suffered from an institutional problem: Which legal institution can best create an efficient law for commercial contracts that can overcome "obsolescence” – the persistence of rules that only solve yesterday’s contracting problems? Until the early 20th century, contract law was largely created by common law courts. The law's default rules were efficient when created and courts updated them as commerce changed. But there were few rules and the common law process is slow. In response, the 20th century saw public and private lawmaking bodies enact commercial statutes in discrete legal areas such as secured credit ...


Making America A Better Place For All: Sustainable Development Recommendations For The Biden Administration, John C. Dernbach, Scott E. Schang, Robert W. Adler, Karol Boudreaux, John Bouman, Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, Kimberly Brown, Mikhail Chester, Michael B. Gerrard, Stephen Herzenberg, Samuel Markolf, Corey Malone-Smolla, Jane Nelson, Uma Outka, Tony Pipa, Alexandra Phelan, Leroy Paddock, Jonathan D. Rosenbloom, William Snape, Anastasia Telesetsky, Gerald Torres, Elizabeth Ann Kronk Warner, Audra Wilson Jan 2021

Making America A Better Place For All: Sustainable Development Recommendations For The Biden Administration, John C. Dernbach, Scott E. Schang, Robert W. Adler, Karol Boudreaux, John Bouman, Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, Kimberly Brown, Mikhail Chester, Michael B. Gerrard, Stephen Herzenberg, Samuel Markolf, Corey Malone-Smolla, Jane Nelson, Uma Outka, Tony Pipa, Alexandra Phelan, Leroy Paddock, Jonathan D. Rosenbloom, William Snape, Anastasia Telesetsky, Gerald Torres, Elizabeth Ann Kronk Warner, Audra Wilson

Faculty Scholarship

In 2015, the United Nations Member States, including the United States, unanimously approved 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. The SDGs are nonbinding; each nation is to implement them based on its own priorities and circumstances. This Article argues that the SDGs are a critical normative framework the United States should use to improve human quality of life, freedom, and opportunity by integrating economic and social development with environmental protection. It collects the recommendations of 22 experts on steps that the Biden-Harris Administration should take now to advance each of the SDGs. It is part of ...


Investigating The Contract Production Process, Stephen J. Choi, Robert E. Scott, G. Mitu Gulati Jan 2021

Investigating The Contract Production Process, Stephen J. Choi, Robert E. Scott, G. Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

Contract law and theory have traditionally paid little attention to the processes by which contracts are made. Instead, contracts among sophisticated parties are assumed to be full articulations of the desires of the parties; whatever the process, the outcome is the same. This article compares sovereign debt contracts from US and UK firms, with different production processes, that are trying to do the same thing under very similar legal regimes. We find that that the production process likely matters quite a bit to the final form that contracts take.


The Comet Framework: Greenhouse Gas Data Transparency To Enable The Success Of Eu Climate Policy, Martin Dietrich Brauch, Solina Kennedy Oct 2020

The Comet Framework: Greenhouse Gas Data Transparency To Enable The Success Of Eu Climate Policy, Martin Dietrich Brauch, Solina Kennedy

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

To further and fully understand how to plan for the decarbonization of mining value chains, we need better data on carbon and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, neither consumers, corporates, or financial institutions know the embodied emissions in the products they produce or sell. While methods like life-cycle analysis and environmental product declarations exist, none use a verifiable, comparable, or widely adopted emissions reporting framework capable of sending supply chain signals.

To truly reform material supply chains, new solutions for markets, capital, and policy are required. COMET (the Coalition on Materials Emissions Transparency)—an alliance launched at Davos in ...


Equipping The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation For The Low-Carbon Transition: How Are Other National Oil Companies Adapting?, Perrine Toledano, Martin Dietrich Brauch, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Francisco Javier Pardinas Favela Sep 2020

Equipping The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation For The Low-Carbon Transition: How Are Other National Oil Companies Adapting?, Perrine Toledano, Martin Dietrich Brauch, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Francisco Javier Pardinas Favela

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) persistent governance challenges have both hampered Nigeria’s oil sector development and deprived the country of public resources. The oil, climate, and COVID-19 crises and the ramp-up of the low-carbon transition exacerbate this reality, with the national oil company (NOC) delivering sub-optimal returns to its stakeholders.

Other NOCs have taken meaningful steps to become players in the low-carbon energy transition domestically or in­ternationally – for example, Sau­di Arabia’s Saudi Aramco, Norway’s Equinor, Brazil’s Petrobras, Malaysia’s Petronas, and Algeria’s Sonatrach. These NOCs can serve as sources of inspiration ...


Law In The Time Of Covid-19, Katharina Pistor Apr 2020

Law In The Time Of Covid-19, Katharina Pistor

Books

The COVID-19 crisis has ended and upended lives around the globe. In addition to killing over 160,000 people, more than 35,000 in the United States alone, its secondary effects have been as devastating. These secondary effects pose fundamental challenges to the rules that govern our social, political, and economic lives. These rules are the domain of lawyers. Law in the Time of COVID-19 is the product of a joint effort by members of the faculty of Columbia Law School and several law professors from other schools.

This volume offers guidance for thinking about some the most pressing legal ...


Electric Utility Alignment With The Sdgs & The Paris Climate Agreement, Perrine Toledano, Aniket Shah, Nicolas Maennling, Ryan J. Lasnick Feb 2020

Electric Utility Alignment With The Sdgs & The Paris Climate Agreement, Perrine Toledano, Aniket Shah, Nicolas Maennling, Ryan J. Lasnick

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda poses a unique and critical challenge to the energy sector: how to scale access to clean energy to power sustainable, economic development for a growing population, while simultaneously decarbonizing global energy supply. Expanding access to clean energy will play a crucial role in achieving nearly every one of the Sustainable Development Goals, including those related to agricultural production, health outcomes, educational performance, water systems, access to infrastructure, and reducing inequalities. However, practices by some actors in the energy sector, and continued over-reliance on greenhouse gas-intensive fossil fuels also undermine global efforts to mitigate climate change ...


Executive Underreach, In Pandemics And Otherwise, David E. Pozen, Kim Lane Scheppele Jan 2020

Executive Underreach, In Pandemics And Otherwise, David E. Pozen, Kim Lane Scheppele

Faculty Scholarship

Legal scholars are familiar with the problem of executive overreach, especially in emergencies. But sometimes, instead of being too audacious or extreme, a national executive's attempts to address a true threat prove far too limited and insubstantial. In this Essay, we seek to define and clarify the phenomenon of executive underreach, with special reference to the COVID-19 crisis; to outline ways in which such underreach may compromise constitutional governance and the international legal order; and to suggest a partial remedy.


Criminal Deterrence: A Review Of The Missing Literature, Alex Raskolnikov Jan 2020

Criminal Deterrence: A Review Of The Missing Literature, Alex Raskolnikov

Faculty Scholarship

This review of the criminal deterrence literature focuses on the questions that are largely missing from many recent, excellent, comprehensive reviews of that literature, and from the literature itself. By “missing” I mean, first, questions that criminal deterrence scholars have ignored either completely or to a large extent. These questions range from fundamental (the distributional analysis of the criminal justice system), to those hidden in plain sight (economic analysis of misdemeanors), to those that are well-known yet mostly overlooked (the role of positive incentives, offender’s mental state, and celerity of punishment). I also use “missing” to refer to the ...


Innovation Versus Encrustation: Agency Costs In Contract Reproduction, Stephen J. Choi, Mitu Gulati, Robert E. Scott Jan 2020

Innovation Versus Encrustation: Agency Costs In Contract Reproduction, Stephen J. Choi, Mitu Gulati, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

This article studies the impact of exogenous legal change on whether and how lawyers across four different deal types revise their contracts’ governing law clauses in order to solve the problem that the legal change created. The governing law clause is present in practically every contract across a wide range of industries and, in particular, it appears in deals as disparate as private equity M&A transactions and sovereign bond issuances. Properly drafted, the clause increases the ex ante economic value of the contract to both parties by reducing uncertainty and litigation risk. We posit that different levels of agency ...


How The Administrative State Got To This Challenging Place, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2020

How The Administrative State Got To This Challenging Place, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

This essay has been written to set the context for a future issue of Daedalus, the quarterly of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, addressing the prospects of American administrative law in the Twenty-first Century. It recounts the growth of American government over the centuries since its founding, in response to the profound changes in the technology, economy, and scientific understandings it must deal with, under a Constitution written for the governance of a dispersed agrarian population operating with hand tools in a localized economy. It then suggests profound challenges of the present day facing administrative law’s development ...


How To Help Small Businesses Survive Covid-19, Todd Baker, Kathryn Judge Jan 2020

How To Help Small Businesses Survive Covid-19, Todd Baker, Kathryn Judge

Faculty Scholarship

Small businesses are among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis. Many are shuttered, and far more face cash flow constraints, raising questions about just how many will survive this recession. The government has responded with a critical forgivable loan program, but for many of these businesses, this program alone will not provide the cash they need to retain workers, pay rent, and help their business come back to life when Americans are no longer sheltering in place. This essay calls on regulators to find new and creative ways to work with existing intermediaries, including banks and online lenders, who ...


Executive Summary On Ensuring Economic Viability And Sustainability Of Coffee Production, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, James Rising, Perrine Toledano, Nicolas Maennling Jan 2020

Executive Summary On Ensuring Economic Viability And Sustainability Of Coffee Production, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, James Rising, Perrine Toledano, Nicolas Maennling

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Coffee, the world’s favorite beverage, provides livelihoods for at least 60 million people across dozens of countries. Yet this beloved drink is experiencing a sustainability crisis. A sustained decline in world coffee prices has squeezed coffee producers, and thrown a tremendous number of producers below the global extreme poverty line of US$1.90 per day. This briefing note presents our research into sustainability within the coffee sector, including the results of our analytical and empirical modeling, and provides several recommendations.


Why Financial Regulation Keeps Falling Short, Dan Awrey, Kathryn Judge Jan 2020

Why Financial Regulation Keeps Falling Short, Dan Awrey, Kathryn Judge

Faculty Scholarship

This article argues that there is a fundamental mismatch between the nature of finance and current approaches to financial regulation. Today’s financial system is a dynamic and complex ecosystem. For these and other reasons, policy makers and market actors regularly have only a fraction of the information that may be pertinent to decisions they are making. The processes governing financial regulation, however, implicitly assume a high degree of knowability, stability, and predictability. Through two case studies and other examples, this article examines how this mismatch undermines financial stability and other policy aims. This examination further reveals that the procedural ...


Specific Performance, Hanoch Dagan, Michael A. Heller Jan 2020

Specific Performance, Hanoch Dagan, Michael A. Heller

Faculty Scholarship

When should specific performance be available for breach of contract? This question has engaged generations of legal economists and philosophers, historians and comparativists. Yet none of these disciplines have provided a persuasive answer. This Article provides a normatively-attractive and conceptually-coherent account. Respect for the autonomy of the promisor’s future self explains why expectation damages are, and should be, the ordinary remedy for contract breach. Also, this same normative commitment to the contracting parties’ autonomy best justifies the “uniqueness exception,” where specific performance is typically awarded, and the personal services exclusion, where it is not. For the most part, the ...


Enhancing Efficiency At Nonprofits With Analysis And Disclosure, David M. Schizer Jan 2020

Enhancing Efficiency At Nonprofits With Analysis And Disclosure, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

The U.S. nonprofit sector spends $2.54 trillion each year. If the sector were a country, it would have the eighth largest economy in the world, ahead of Brazil, Italy, Canada, and Russia. The government provides nonprofits with billions in tax subsidies, but instead of evaluating the quality of their work, it leaves this responsibility to nonprofit managers, boards, and donors. The best nonprofits are laboratories of innovation, but unfortunately some are stagnant backwaters, which waste money on out-of-date missions and inefficient programs. To promote more innovation and less stagnation, this Article makes two contributions to the literature.

First ...


What Do Lawyers Contribute To Law & Economics?, Robert E. Scott, George G. Triantis Jan 2020

What Do Lawyers Contribute To Law & Economics?, Robert E. Scott, George G. Triantis

Faculty Scholarship

The law and economics movement has transformed the analysis of private law in the United States and increasingly around the world. As the field developed from 1970 to the early 2000s, scholars have developed countless insights about the operation and effects of law and legal institutions. Throughout this period, the discipline of law and economics has benefited from a partnership among trained economists and academic lawyers. Yet, the tools that are used derive primarily from economics and not law. A logical question thus demands attention: what role do academic lawyers play in law and economics scholarship? In this Essay, we ...


The Paradox Of Contracting In Markets, Robert E. Scott Jan 2020

The Paradox Of Contracting In Markets, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Contract design that motivates parties to invest and trade more efficiently occurs primarily in thin markets characterized by bespoke, bilateral agreements between commercial parties. In that environment, the cost of producing each contract is relatively high. Those costs are justified by offsetting design improvements in contractual incentives. In contrast, more efficient production of contract terms occurs in thick, multilateral markets where parties can realize the scale advantages of standardization. In this environment, the cost of producing individual contracts is relatively low but at the offsetting cost of undermining contractual incentives. These very different trade-offs are dictated by changes in the ...


Distributional Arguments, In Reverse, Alex Raskolnikov Jan 2020

Distributional Arguments, In Reverse, Alex Raskolnikov

Faculty Scholarship

What should the government do about the distribution of resources and outcomes in the society? Two arguments have shaped academic debates about this question for several decades. The first argument states that economic regulation should focus on efficiency alone, leaving distributional considerations for the tax-and-transfer system. The second argument objects to government assistance for people unintentionally harmed by legal reforms. Taken together, the two arguments impose major restrictions on the range of possible distributional policies.

This Article contends that a growing body of research in the economics of trade, immigration, industrial organization, labor, and environmental regulation reveals that the core ...


Shifting Influences On Corporate Governance: Capital Market Completeness And Policy Channeling, Ronald J. Gilson, Curtis J. Milhaupt Jan 2020

Shifting Influences On Corporate Governance: Capital Market Completeness And Policy Channeling, Ronald J. Gilson, Curtis J. Milhaupt

Faculty Scholarship

Corporate governance scholarship is typically portrayed as driven by single factor models, for example, shareholder value maximization, director primacy or team production. These governance models are Copernican; one factor is or should be the center of the corporate governance solar system. In this essay, we argue that, as with binary stars, the shape of the governance system is at any time the result of the interaction of two central influences, which we refer to as capital market completeness and policy channeling. In contrast to single factor models, which reflect a stable normative statement of what should drive corporate governance, in ...


For Coöperation And The Abolition Of Capital, Or, How To Get Beyond Our Extractive Punitive Society And Achieve A Just Society, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2020

For Coöperation And The Abolition Of Capital, Or, How To Get Beyond Our Extractive Punitive Society And Achieve A Just Society, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

In hindsight, the term "capitalism" was always a misnomer, coined paradoxically by its critics in the nineteenth century. The term misleadingly suggests that the existence of capital produces a unique economic system or that capital itself is governed by economic laws. But that's an illusion. In truth, we do not live today in a system in which capital dictates our economic circumstances. Instead, we live under the tyranny of what I would call "tournament dirigisme": a type of state-directed gladiator sport where our political leaders bestow spoils on the wealthy, privileged elite.

We need to displace this tournament dirigisme ...


Why The Fed Should Issue A Policy Framework For Credit Policy, Kathryn Judge Jan 2020

Why The Fed Should Issue A Policy Framework For Credit Policy, Kathryn Judge

Faculty Scholarship

The Federal Reserve has long used policy frameworks to both explain and inform its policymaking. These policy frameworks typically explain what the Fed is seeking to achieve in a given domain and how it plans to achieve its desired aims. Two prominent examples are the Fed’s use of Bagehot’s dictum when acting as a lender of last resort and its monetary policy framework issued in 2012 and revised in 2020. In both instances, the framework provides a foundation for informed debate among Fed policymakers, Congress, and the public, enhancing both efficacy and accountability. Since the onset of the ...


Unexpected Effects Of Expected Sanctions, Giuseppe Dari‐Mattiacci, Alex Raskolnikov Jan 2020

Unexpected Effects Of Expected Sanctions, Giuseppe Dari‐Mattiacci, Alex Raskolnikov

Faculty Scholarship

The economic analysis of law enforcement holds that greater expected sanctions lead to greater compliance. The literature on positive and negative incentives holds that rewards and sanctions – or carrots and sticks – have identical first-order incentive effects. We extend the basic model of law enforcement in three ways. We allow agents to opt out of the regulatory regime, we allow for enforcement errors, and we model agents who vary in at least one trait in addition to their cost of compliance. We show that following these three realistic modifications of the basic model, the two fundamental conclusions just described do not ...


Ensuring Economic Viability And Sustainability Of Coffee Production, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, James Rising, Perrine Toledano, Nicolas Maennling Oct 2019

Ensuring Economic Viability And Sustainability Of Coffee Production, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, James Rising, Perrine Toledano, Nicolas Maennling

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Coffee, the world’s favorite beverage, provides livelihoods for at least 60 million people across dozens of countries. Yet this beloved drink is experiencing a sustainability crisis. A sustained decline in world coffee prices has squeezed coffee producers, and thrown a tremendous number of producers below the global extreme poverty line. This report presents our research into sustainability within the coffee sector, including the results of our analytical and empirical modeling, and provides several recommendations.


Fixing The Business Of Food: The Food Industry And The Sdg Challenge, Barilla Center For Food And Nutrition, Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment, Sanda Chiara Lab Sep 2019

Fixing The Business Of Food: The Food Industry And The Sdg Challenge, Barilla Center For Food And Nutrition, Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment, Sanda Chiara Lab

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In collaboration with the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and the Santa Chiara Lab of the University of Siena, CCSI presented its first report on Fixing the Business of Food.

The document, part of a two-year effort, highlights the sustainable development challenge faced by the food industry. By proposing a Four Dimension framework, the report asks four overarching questions for companies in the food sector to address alignment with the SDGs:

  1. Does the company contribute to healthy and sustainable dietary patterns through its products and strategy?
  2. Are the company’s production processes economically ...


Human Rights Law And The Investment Treaty Regime, Jesse Coleman, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson Jun 2019

Human Rights Law And The Investment Treaty Regime, Jesse Coleman, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In its current form, the international investment treaty regime may stymie the business and human rights agenda in various ways. The regime may incentivize governments to favour the protection of investors over the protection of human rights. Investment treaty standards enforced through investor-state arbitration risk adversely affecting access to justice for project-affected rights holders. More broadly, the regime contributes to a system of global economic governance that elevates and rewards investors’ actions and expectations, irrespective of whether they have adhered to their responsibilities to respect human rights. Without comprehensive reform, investment treaties and investor-state arbitration will continue to interfere with ...