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Stanley Surrey, The 1981 Us Model, And The Single Tax Principle, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Gianluca Mazzoni Mar 2021

Stanley Surrey, The 1981 Us Model, And The Single Tax Principle, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Gianluca Mazzoni

Law & Economics Working Papers

2021 marks the 40th anniversary of the 1981 U.S. Model Tax Treaty as well as the 5th anniversary of the 2016 US Model Tax Treaty. The first author has repeatedly argued that the 1981 Model gave life to the single tax principle (“STP”). The 2016 Model updates effectively implemented the principle that cross-border income should be taxed once – that is not more and but also not less than once. For example, the 2016 Model does not reduce withholding taxes on payments of highly mobile income that are made to related persons that enjoy low or no taxation with respect ...


Tax Treaties, The Constitution, And The Noncompulsory Payment Rule, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Mar 2021

Tax Treaties, The Constitution, And The Noncompulsory Payment Rule, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

US Tax treaties have been regarded as self-executing since the first treaty (with France) was ratified in 1932. Rebecca Kysar has argued this raises a doubt on whether the treaties are constitutional, because tax treaties (like other treaties) are negotiated by the executive branch and ratified by the Senate with no involvement by the House, and all tax-raising measures must originate in the House under the Origination Clause (U.S. Const. Art I, section 7, clause 7). Her preferred solution is to make tax treaties non-self executing, but that would reverse the universal practice since 1932, and is therefore unlikely ...


Reforming Michigan Vehicle Direct Sales Laws, Daniel A. Crane Mar 2021

Reforming Michigan Vehicle Direct Sales Laws, Daniel A. Crane

Law & Economics Working Papers

Michigan stands at a crossroads with respect to the way that electrical vehicles (“EVs”) are sold and serviced. For many decades, Michigan—like many other states—mandated that cars could be sold and serviced only through independent, franchised dealers and prohibited car manufacturers from selling or servicing directly. Historically, those laws were put in place to protect dealers from the superior bargaining power, and sometimes unfair practices, of the Big Three car companies—General Motors (“GM”), Ford, and Chrysler. With the advent of EV technology, it became clear that these decades-old restrictions on direct sales and servicing needed to be ...


New Innovation Models In Medical Ai, Nicholson Price Ii, Rachel Sachs, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Feb 2021

New Innovation Models In Medical Ai, Nicholson Price Ii, Rachel Sachs, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Law & Economics Working Papers

In recent years, scientists and researchers have devoted considerable resources to developing medical artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. Many of these technologies—particularly those which resemble traditional medical devices in their functions—have received substantial attention in the legal and policy literature. But other types of novel AI technologies, such as those that relate to quality improvement and optimizing use of scarce facilities, have been largely absent from the discussion thus far. These AI innovations have the potential to shed light on important aspects of health innovation policy. First, these AI innovations interact less with the legal regimes that scholars traditionally ...


Constitutional Review Of Federal Tax Legislation, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Yoseph M. Edrey Jan 2021

Constitutional Review Of Federal Tax Legislation, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Yoseph M. Edrey

Law & Economics Working Papers

What does the Constitution mean when it says that “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States” (US Const. Article I, Section 8, Clause 1)? The definition of “tax” for constitutional purposes has become important in light of the Supreme Court’s 2012 decision in NFIB v. Sebelius, in which Chief Justice Roberts for the Court upheld the constitutionality of the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act under the taxing power. This has led to commentators ...


Overcoming Political Polarization: Federal Funding Of Education Is The Key, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Nov 2020

Overcoming Political Polarization: Federal Funding Of Education Is The Key, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

The best way of overcoming political polarization in the US (the last two elections were both decided by fewer than 100,000 votes in WI, MI, PA (2016) and WI, AZ, GA (2020)) is to reduce disparities in education. But how can we do that? The basic problem arises from the US system of funding K-12 education from property taxes. While the picture above refers to college education, it is K-12 education that determines both college admissions and college readiness. Thus, the only viable solution is a federal solution. As President Nixon proposed in 1972, the United States should adopt ...


Recovery For Causing Tax Overpayment - Lyeth V. Hoey And Clark Revisited, Douglas A. Kahn, Jeffrey H. Kahn Oct 2020

Recovery For Causing Tax Overpayment - Lyeth V. Hoey And Clark Revisited, Douglas A. Kahn, Jeffrey H. Kahn

Law & Economics Working Papers

The question has arisen in numerous cases as to the extent to which a settlement between arms’ length parties is dispositive in tax cases of the claims on which the settlement is based. Another issue that often arises is whether the receipt of compensation for a tax payment that was incurred because of the negligence of the payor is excluded from gross income. While those two issues were central to the proper resolution of a recent case in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, McKenny v. United States, the court failed even to note one of ...


Do Lawyers Need Economists? Review Of Katja Langenbucher, Economic Transplants: On Lawmaking For Corporations And Capital Markets (Cambridge U. Press, 2017), Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Oct 2020

Do Lawyers Need Economists? Review Of Katja Langenbucher, Economic Transplants: On Lawmaking For Corporations And Capital Markets (Cambridge U. Press, 2017), Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

Katja Langenbucher’s outstanding book seeks to address the question of why and in what ways have lawyers been importing economic theories into a legal environment, and how has this shaped scholarly research, judicial and legislative work? Since the financial crisis, corporate or capital markets law has been the focus of attention by academia and media. Formal modelling has been used to describe how capital markets work and, later, has been criticized for its abstract assumptions. Empirical legal studies and regulatory impact assessments offered different ways forward. This excellent book presents a new approach to the risks and benefits of ...


Class Actions And Private Antitrust Litigation, Albert H. Choi, Kathryn E. Sprier Sep 2020

Class Actions And Private Antitrust Litigation, Albert H. Choi, Kathryn E. Sprier

Law & Economics Working Papers

When firms collude and charge supra-competitive prices, consumers can bring antitrust lawsuits against the firms. When the litigation cost is low, firms accept the cost as just another cost of doing business, whereas when the cost is high, the firms lower the price to deter litigation. Class action is modeled as a mechanism that allows plaintiffs and attorneys to obtain economies of scale. We show that class actions, and the firms' incentive to block them, may or may not be socially desirable. Agency problems, settlement, fee-shifting, treble damages, public enforcement, and sustaining collusion through repeat play are also considered.


Taxes In The Time Of Coronavirus: Is It Time To Revive The Excess Profits Tax?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah May 2020

Taxes In The Time Of Coronavirus: Is It Time To Revive The Excess Profits Tax?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

A recent NY Times headline summarizes one of the biggest economic impacts of the current pandemic: “Big Tech Could Emerge From Coronavirus Crisis Stronger Than Ever.” At a time when most American citizens and businesses suffer catastrophic economic damage from the Coronavirus Recession, some corporations such as Amazon, 3M, Gilead, and Zoom see their profits rise dramatically because of the pandemic. Given that most corporations are losing money but some are now earning excess profits due to the crisis, it is time to revive the wartime excess profits taxes that the US deployed in WW1 and WW2 to prevent the ...


Covid-19 And Us Tax Policy: What Needs To Change?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Apr 2020

Covid-19 And Us Tax Policy: What Needs To Change?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

The COVID-19 Pandemic already feels like a historical turning point akin to Word Wars I and II and the Great Depression. It may signal the end of the second period of globalization (1980-2020) and a change in the relative positions of the US and China. It could also lead in the US to significant changes in tax policy designed to bolster the social safety net which was revealed as very porous during the pandemic. In what follows I will first discuss some short-term effects of the pandemic and then some potential longer-term effects on US tax policy.


Taxation And Business: The Human Rights Dimension Of Corporate Tax Practices, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Apr 2020

Taxation And Business: The Human Rights Dimension Of Corporate Tax Practices, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

If we want to narrow the North-South divide that threatens our world, some limits on tax competition are inevitable. The world faces a crucial choice in the 2020s. We can either continue retreating from globalization in favor of xenophobic nationalism, tariffs, immigration restrictions, and exchange controls. That road leads ultimately to war, as it did in the 1930s. Or we can revive globalization by investing in a robust social safety net, infrastructure, education, and job creation. While more needs to be done, we have made significant progress in curbing tax competition in the last decade. The key move now is ...


Should Us Tax Law Be Constitutionalized? Centennial Reflections On Eisner V. Macomber (1920), Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Apr 2020

Should Us Tax Law Be Constitutionalized? Centennial Reflections On Eisner V. Macomber (1920), Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

The US Supreme Court last decided a federal tax case on constitutional grounds in 1920, a century ago. The case was Eisner v. Macomber, and the issue was whether Congress had the power under the Sixteenth Amendment (authorizing an income tax, 1913) to include stock dividends in the tax base. The Court answered no because “income” in the Sixteenth Amendment meant “the gain derived from capital, from labor, or from both combined.” A stock dividend, since it did not increase the wealth of the shareholder, was not “income.” Macomber was never formally overruled, and it is sometime still cited by ...


May Hospitals Withhold Ventilators From Covid-19 Patients With Pre-Existing Disabilities? Notes On The Law And Ethics Of Disability-Based Medical Rationing, Samuel R. Bagenstos Mar 2020

May Hospitals Withhold Ventilators From Covid-19 Patients With Pre-Existing Disabilities? Notes On The Law And Ethics Of Disability-Based Medical Rationing, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Law & Economics Working Papers

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the threat of medical rationing is now clear and present. Hospitals faced with a crush of patients must now seriously confront questions of how to allocate scarce resources—notably life-saving ventilators—at a time of severe shortage. In their protocols for addressing this situation, hospitals and state agencies often employ explicitly disability-based distinctions. For example, Alabama’s crisis standards of care provide that “people with severe or profound intellectual disability ‘are unlikely candidates for ventilator support.’” This essay, written as this crisis unfolds, argues that disability-based distinctions like these violate the law. The Americans with ...


Constructive Dialogue: Beps And The Tcja, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Feb 2020

Constructive Dialogue: Beps And The Tcja, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

US international tax law is commonly conceived as developed in the US and influencing the development of other countries' international tax law. This paper will argue that in the case of the TCJA, the US legislation was heavily influenced by the OECD BEPS project, and that the continuing OECD work in Pillars I and II is likely to have a similar influence on the future development of US international tax law.


Member States' Due Diligence Obligations To Supervise International Organizations, Kristina Daugirdas Feb 2020

Member States' Due Diligence Obligations To Supervise International Organizations, Kristina Daugirdas

Law & Economics Working Papers

There are two reasons to consider obligations to supervise international organizations as a distinct category of due diligence obligations. First, due diligence obligations typically require states to regulate third parties in some way. But it is harder for states to regulate international organizations unilaterally than to regulate private actors within their own territories because international law protects the autonomy of those organizations. Second, such due diligence obligations merit attention because they may compensate for the dearth of mechanisms to hold international organizations accountable when they cause harm. These accountability concerns are especially acute when it comes to private individuals who ...


Breaking The Silence: Why International Organizations Should Acknowledge Customary International Law Obligations To Provide Effective Remedies, Kristina Daugirdas, Sachi Schuricht Feb 2020

Breaking The Silence: Why International Organizations Should Acknowledge Customary International Law Obligations To Provide Effective Remedies, Kristina Daugirdas, Sachi Schuricht

Law & Economics Working Papers

To date, international organizations have remained largely silent about their obligations under customary international law. This chapter urges international organizations to change course, and to expressly acknowledge customary international law obligations to provide effective remedies. Notably, international organizations’ obligations to afford effective remedies need not precisely mirror States’ obligations to do so. Instead, international organizations may be governed by particular customary international law rules. By publicly acknowledging obligations to afford effective remedies, international organizations can influence the development of such particular rules. In addition, by acknowledging obligations to afford effective remedies — and by actually providing effective remedies — international organizations can ...


The Dialogic Aspect Of Soft Law In International Insolvency: Discord, Digression, And Development, John A. E. Pottow Oct 2019

The Dialogic Aspect Of Soft Law In International Insolvency: Discord, Digression, And Development, John A. E. Pottow

Law & Economics Working Papers

Soft law is on the ascent in international insolvency, seeming now to occupy a preferred status over boring old conventions. An arguably constitutive aspect of soft law, which some contend provides a normative justification for international law generally, is its "dialogic" nature, by which I mean its intentional exposure to recursive norm contestation and iterative development: soft law starts a dialogue. The product of that dialogue, on a teleological view, may well be hard law. In the international insolvency realm, that pathway is through (soft) model domestic legislation that aspires toward enactment as municipal law. The happy story is that ...


Fascism And Monopoly, Daniel A. Crane Aug 2019

Fascism And Monopoly, Daniel A. Crane

Law & Economics Working Papers

The recent revival of political interest in antitrust has resurfaced a longstanding debate about the role of industrial concentration and monopoly in enabling Hitler’s rise to power and the Third Reich’s wars of aggression. Proponents of stronger antitrust enforcement argue that monopolies and cartels brought the Nazis to power and warn that rising concentration in the American economy could similarly threaten democracy. Skeptics demur, observing that German big business largely opposed Hitler during the crucial years of his ascent. Drawing on business histories and archival material from the U.S. Office of Military Government’s Decartelization Unit, this ...


Prosecutorial Discretion And Environmental Crime Redux: Charging Trends, Aggravating Factors, And Individual Outcome Data For 2005-2014, David M. Uhlmann May 2019

Prosecutorial Discretion And Environmental Crime Redux: Charging Trends, Aggravating Factors, And Individual Outcome Data For 2005-2014, David M. Uhlmann

Law & Economics Working Papers

In a 2014 article entitled “Prosecutorial Discretion and Environmental Crime,” I presented empirical data developed by student researchers participating in the Environmental Crimes Project at the University of Michigan Law School. My 2014 article reported that 96 percent of defendants investigated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and charged with federal environmental crimes from 2005 through 2010 engaged in conduct that involved at least one of the aggravating factors identified in my previous scholarship, namely significant harm, deceptive or misleading conduct, operating outside the regulatory system, and repetitive violations. On that basis, I concluded that prosecutors charged violations that ...


If Not Now, When? Us Tax Treaties With Latin America After Tcja, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah May 2019

If Not Now, When? Us Tax Treaties With Latin America After Tcja, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

Since the 1990s, the US tax treaty network has expanded to include most large developing countries. However, there remains a glaring exception: The US only has two tax treaties in Latin America (Mexico and Venezuela), and one pending tax treaty (Chile). The traditional explanation for why the US has no treaty with, for example, Argentina or Brazil is the US refusal since 1957 to grant tax sparing credits to developing countries. Before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), this explanation was wrong, because the combination of deferral and cross-crediting meant that tax holidays in a source country ...


Does Customary International Tax Law Exist?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah May 2019

Does Customary International Tax Law Exist?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

Customary international law is law that “results from a general and consistent practice of states followed by them from a sense of legal obligation.” “International agreements create law for states parties thereto and may lead to the creation of customary international law when such agreements are intended for adherence by states generally and are in fact widely accepted.” Does customary international law (CIL) exist in tax? There are over 3,000 bilateral tax treaties, and they are about 80% identical to each other, but do they create CIL that binds in the absence of a binding treaty, like for example ...


Globalization, Tax Competition And The Fiscal Crisis Of The Welfare State: A Twentieth Anniversary Retrospective, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah May 2019

Globalization, Tax Competition And The Fiscal Crisis Of The Welfare State: A Twentieth Anniversary Retrospective, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

Twenty years ago I wrote “Globalization, Tax Competition, and the Fiscal Crisis of the Welfare State” (113 Harv. L. Rev. 1573 (2000)), which argued that “[t]he current age of globalization can be distinguished from the previous one (from 1870 to 1914) by the much higher mobility of capital than labor… The mobility of capital is linked to tax competition, in which sovereign countries lower their tax rates on income earned by foreigners within their borders in order to attract both portfolio and direct investment. Tax competition, in turn, threatens to undermine the individual and corporate income taxes, which traditionally ...


The International Provisions Of The Tcja: Six Results After Six Months, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Aug 2018

The International Provisions Of The Tcja: Six Results After Six Months, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

Over six months have passed since the enactment of the TCJA, so it is now possible to reach some preliminary conclusions on its impact. The main ones are:

1. The transition tax plus anticipated GILTI tax minus territoriality have resulted in higher GAAP effective tax rates for 2017. In some cases they approach 35% for large multinationals with a lot of offshore income. For the first six months of 2018, however, overall corporate tax revenues are sharply down because of the 21% rate plus expensing. This is the exact reverse of the situation before TCJA in which MNEs showed very ...


The Beat And Treaty Overrides: A Brief Response To Rosenbloom And Shaheen, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Brett Wells Aug 2018

The Beat And Treaty Overrides: A Brief Response To Rosenbloom And Shaheen, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Brett Wells

Law & Economics Working Papers

In a recent paper posted on SSRN, Profs. David Rosenbloom and Fadi Shaheen argue that the Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT) (IRC section 59A), as enacted in 2017, is a potential violation of Articles 23 and 24 of US tax treaties. In addition, they argue that the BEAT does not override those treaties and therefore the treaties can be relied upon to overcome the effects of the BEAT. In our opinion, this conclusion is wrong, for two reasons. First, we believe that the BEAT is not a treaty violation. Second, we believe that even if the BEAT were found to ...


What We Don't See When We See Copyright As Property, Jessica Litman May 2018

What We Don't See When We See Copyright As Property, Jessica Litman

Law & Economics Working Papers

It is becoming increasingly clear that the supposed copyright wars that copyright scholars believed we were fighting – nominally pitting the interests of authors and creators against the interests of readers and other members of the audience – were never really about that at all. Instead the real conflict has been between the publishers, record labels, movie studios, and other intermediaries who rose to market dominance in the 20th century, and the digital services and platforms that have become increasingly powerful copyright players in the 21st. In this essay, adapted from the 13th annual University of Cambridge Center for Intellectual Property and ...


Antitrust And Democracy: A Case Study From German Fascism, Daniel A. Crane Apr 2018

Antitrust And Democracy: A Case Study From German Fascism, Daniel A. Crane

Law & Economics Working Papers

In the recent political discourse around antitrust reform, prominent voices from across the political spectrum have asserted that excessive economic concentration imperils democracy. This theme has been raised periodically over the course of U.S. history, perhaps most forcibly after the Second World War when the framers of the Celler-Kefauver Act argued that industrial concentration in Germany enabled the rise of Nazism. This paper examines the relationship between Nazism and monopoly through a case study of the I.G. Farben chemical cartel. In analyzing Farben's role as Hitler's facilitator, this paper asks three questions: (1) How did industrial ...


Fiduciary Duties In Bankruptcy And Insolvency, John A. E. Pottow Mar 2018

Fiduciary Duties In Bankruptcy And Insolvency, John A. E. Pottow

Law & Economics Working Papers

Insolvency law (bankruptcy law to some) moves so quickly in the cross-border realm that this piece's discussion, started in 2015, is probably already outdated. Nonetheless, I publish it unrepentently because it turns overdue attention to the role of soft law in this domain. Building on earlier work in which I address the role of incrementalism, I discuss the marked success of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency and its cognate Insolvency Regulation in the EU (the latter now into its "Recast"). As predicted/hoped, the EU Recast, joining other contemporaneous reform projects, is building upon the scaffolding of ...


Antitrust's Unconventional Politics, Daniel A. Crane Mar 2018

Antitrust's Unconventional Politics, Daniel A. Crane

Law & Economics Working Papers

For the first time in a generation, political pressure is growing to reform antitrust in a considerably more interventionist direction. To the bafflement of many observers, these political pressures are emerging simultaneously from both wings of the political spectrum. Although unconventional in presentist right/left terms, antitrust's ideological ambiguity has longstanding historical roots. This Essay examines three historical friction points that help explain the current political dislocations around antitrust reform: (1) the coupling of ideological aversion to large scale in government and business; (2) the shifting meaning of the word "monopoly," from exclusive governmentally granted privilege to privately obtained ...


Texas Gulf Sulphur And The Genesis Of Corporate Liability Under Rule 10b-5, Adam C. Pritchard, Robert B. Thompson Mar 2018

Texas Gulf Sulphur And The Genesis Of Corporate Liability Under Rule 10b-5, Adam C. Pritchard, Robert B. Thompson

Law & Economics Working Papers

This Essay explores the seminal role played by SEC v. Texas Gulf Sulphur in establishing Rule 10b-5’s use to create a remedy against corporations for misstatements made by their officers. The question of the corporation’s liability for private damages loomed large for the Second Circuit judges in Texas Gulf Sulphur, even though that question was not directly at issue in an SEC action for injunctive relief. The judges considered both construing narrowly "in connection with the purchase or sale of any security," and the requisite state of mind required for violating Rule 10b-5. We explore the choices of ...