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Full-Text Articles in Law

How To Repair Unconscionable Contracts, Omri Ben-Shahar Dec 2007

How To Repair Unconscionable Contracts, Omri Ben-Shahar

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

Several doctrines of contract law allow courts to strike down excessively one-sided terms. A large literature explored which terms should be viewed as excessive, but a related question is often ignored—what provision should replace the vacated excessive term? This paper begins by suggesting that there are three competing criteria for a replacement provision: (1) the most reasonable term; (2) a punitive term, strongly unfavorable to the overreaching party; and (3) the maximally tolerable term. The paper explores in depth the third criterion—the maximally tolerable term—under which the excessive term is reduced merely to the highest level that ...


The Moral Hazard Problem With Privatization Of Public Enforcement: The Case Of Pharmaceutical Fraud, Dayna Bowen Matthew Dec 2007

The Moral Hazard Problem With Privatization Of Public Enforcement: The Case Of Pharmaceutical Fraud, Dayna Bowen Matthew

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article takes a law and economics approach to exploring some of the costs that arise when governments rely on private enforcement to accomplish the goals of public law. The analysis focuses on qui tam enforcement under the Civil False Claims Act, because a remarkable body of empirical data demonstrates the expansive role private qui tam relators are playing in enforcing Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse laws. The Article further focuses on the application of these laws to the pharmaceutical industry. This focus is enlightening because the Government, as well as private enforcers, have recently targeted this industry so ...


Paying To Save: Tax Withholding And Asset Allocation Among Low- And Moderate-Income Taxpayers, Michael S. Barr, Jane Dokko Nov 2007

Paying To Save: Tax Withholding And Asset Allocation Among Low- And Moderate-Income Taxpayers, Michael S. Barr, Jane Dokko

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

We analyze the phenomenon that low- and moderate-income (LMI) tax filers exhibit a “preference for over-withholding” their taxes, a measure we derive from a unique set of questions administered in a dataset of 1,003 households, which we collected through the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan. We argue that the relationship between their withholding preference and portfolio allocation across liquid and illiquid assets is consistent with models with present-biased preferences, and that individuals exhibit self-control problems when making their consumption and saving decisions. Our results support a model in which individuals use commitment devices to constrain their ...


Offsetting Risks, Ariel Porat Nov 2007

Offsetting Risks, Ariel Porat

Michigan Law Review

Under prevailing tort law, an injurer who must choose between Course of Action A, which creates a risk of 500 (there is a probability of .1 that a harm of 5000 will result), and Course of Action B, which creates a risk of 400 (there is a probability of.] that a harm of 4000 will result), and who negligently opts for the former will be held liable for the entire harm of 5000 that materializes. This full liability forces the injurer to pay damages that are five times higher than would be necessary to internalize the risk of 100 that ...


Trolling For Trolls: The Pitfalls Of The Emerging Market Competition Requirement For Permanent Injunctions In Patent Cases Post-Ebay, Benjamin H. Diessel Nov 2007

Trolling For Trolls: The Pitfalls Of The Emerging Market Competition Requirement For Permanent Injunctions In Patent Cases Post-Ebay, Benjamin H. Diessel

Michigan Law Review

In eBay v. MercExchange, a unanimous Supreme Court announced that a new four-factor test should be employed by district courts in determining whether to award an injunction or damages to an aggrieved party whose intellectual property has been infringed. In the context of permanent injunctions in patent cases, district courts have distorted the four-factor test resulting in a "market competition requirement." Under the new market competition requirement, success at obtaining an injunction is contingent upon a party demonstrating that it is a market competitor After consistent application in the first twenty-five district court cases post-eBay, the market competition requirement is ...


Suburbs As Exit, Suburbs As Entrance, Nicole Stelle Garnett Nov 2007

Suburbs As Exit, Suburbs As Entrance, Nicole Stelle Garnett

Michigan Law Review

Most academics assume that suburbanites are "exiters " who have abandoned central cities. The exit story is a foundational one in the fields of land-use and local-government law: exiters' historical, social, and economic connections with "their" center cities are frequently used to justify both growth controls and regional government. The exit story, however no longer captures the American suburban experience. For a majority of Americans, suburbs have become points of entrance to, not exit from, urban life. Most suburbanites are "enterers "-people who were born in, or migrated directly to, suburbs and who have not spent time living in any central ...


Bankruptcy Fire Sales, Lynn M. Lopucki, Joseph W. Doherty Oct 2007

Bankruptcy Fire Sales, Lynn M. Lopucki, Joseph W. Doherty

Michigan Law Review

For more than two decades, scholars working from an economic perspective have criticized the bankruptcy reorganization process and sought to replace it with market mechanisms. In 2002, Professors Douglas G. Baird and Robert K. Rasmussen asserted in The End of Bankruptcy that improvements in the market for large public companies had rendered reorganization obsolete. Going concern value could be captured through sale. This Article reports the results of an empirical study comparing the recoveries in bankruptcy sales of large public companies in the period 2000 through 2004 with the recoveries in bankruptcy reorganizations during the same period. Controlling for company ...


Now, Later, Or Never: Applying Asymmetric Discount Rates In Nuisance Remedies And Federal Regulations, Yang Wang Jun 2007

Now, Later, Or Never: Applying Asymmetric Discount Rates In Nuisance Remedies And Federal Regulations, Yang Wang

Michigan Law Review

Part I of this Note reviews recent literature on the need for asymmetric discount rates in cost-benefit analysis. It observes that even though scholars disagree on the precise value of the appropriate discount rate, many agree that future costs and benefits must be discounted at different rates. Part II then constructs a simple model, consisting of two activities competing for the same resource, and analyzes the consequences of asymmetric discounting under this model. This Part proposes that, to maximize the joint social utility, the resource should be time divided between the competing activities rather than permanently allocated to one or ...


The Economic Impact Of Backdating Of Executive Stock Options, M. P. Narayanan, Cindi A. Schipani, H. Nejat Seyhun Jun 2007

The Economic Impact Of Backdating Of Executive Stock Options, M. P. Narayanan, Cindi A. Schipani, H. Nejat Seyhun

Michigan Law Review

This Article discusses the economic impact of legal, tax, disclosure, and incentive issues arising from the revelation of dating games with regard to executive option grant dates. It provides an estimate of the value loss incurred by shareholders of firms implicated in backdating and compares it to the potential gain that executives might have obtained through backdating. Using a sample of firms that have already been implicated in backdating, we find that the revelation of backdating results in an average loss to shareholders of about 7%. This translates to about $400 million per firm. By contrast, we estimate that the ...


Rewarding Outside Directors, Assaf Hamdani, Reinier Kraakman Jun 2007

Rewarding Outside Directors, Assaf Hamdani, Reinier Kraakman

Michigan Law Review

While they often rely on the threat of penalties to produce deterrence, legal systems rarely use the promise of rewards. In this Article, we consider the use of rewards to motivate director vigilance. Measures to enhance director liability are commonly perceived to be too costly. We, however demonstrate that properly designed reward regimes could match the behavioral incentives offered by negligence-based liability regimes but with significantly lower costs. We further argue that the market itself cannot implement such a regime in the form of equity compensation for directors. We conclude by providing preliminary sketches of two alternative reward regimes. While ...


The Social Construction Of Sarbanes-Oxley, Donald C. Langevoort Jun 2007

The Social Construction Of Sarbanes-Oxley, Donald C. Langevoort

Michigan Law Review

Part I will take a close look at the legitimacy of SOX by examining the two plausible stories of SOX's origins and considering the early post-SOX evidence on its costs and benefits. There is no clear-cut answer to the question of how much SOX benefits investors; both positive and critical positions are plausible. Costs have been far greater than expected, but more from SOX's implementation than from the legislative text. Before turning to how and why implementation has occurred that way-which to me is the central question of interpretation-Part II considers whether there is an alternative interpretation of ...


Getting The Word Out About Fraud: A Theoretical Analysis Of Whistleblowing And Insider Trading, Jonathan Macey Jun 2007

Getting The Word Out About Fraud: A Theoretical Analysis Of Whistleblowing And Insider Trading, Jonathan Macey

Michigan Law Review

The purpose of this Article is to show that corporate whistleblowing is not analytically or functionally distinguishable from insider trading when such trading is based on "whistleblower information," that is, the information a whistleblower might disclose to the authorities. In certain contexts, both insider trading and whistleblowing, if incentivized, would reduce the incidence of corporate pathologies such as fraud and corruption. In light of this analysis, it is peculiar that whistleblowing is encouraged and protected, while insider trading on whistleblower information is not only discouraged but criminalized. Often, insider trading will be far more effective than whistleblowing at bringing fraud ...


Optimal Tax Compliance And Penalties When The Law Is Uncertain, Kyle D. Logue Jun 2007

Optimal Tax Compliance And Penalties When The Law Is Uncertain, Kyle D. Logue

Articles

This article examines the optimal level of tax compliance and the optimal penalty for noncompliance in circumstances in which the substance of the tax law is uncertain - that is, when the precise application of the Internal Revenue Code to a particular situation is not clear. In such situations, a number of interesting questions arise. This article will consider two of them. First, as a normative matter, how certain should taxpayers be before they rely on a particular interpretation of a substantively uncertain tax rule? If a particular position is not clearly prohibited but neither is it clearly allowed, what is ...


The Corporate Monitor: The New Corporate Czar?, Vikramaditya Khanna, Timothy L. Dickinson Jun 2007

The Corporate Monitor: The New Corporate Czar?, Vikramaditya Khanna, Timothy L. Dickinson

Michigan Law Review

Following the recent spate of corporate scandals, government enforcement authorities have increasingly relied upon corporate monitors to help ensure law compliance and reduce the number of future violations. These monitors also permit enforcement authorities, such as the Securities & Exchange Commission and others, to leverage their enforcement resources in overseeing corporate behavior. However there are few descriptive or normative analyses of the role and scope of corporate monitors. This paper provides such an analysis. After sketching out the historical development of corporate monitors, the paper examines the most common features of the current set of monitor appointments supplemented by interviews with ...


The Use Of Efficient Market Hypothesis: Beyond Sox, Dana M. Muir, Cindy A. Schipani Jun 2007

The Use Of Efficient Market Hypothesis: Beyond Sox, Dana M. Muir, Cindy A. Schipani

Michigan Law Review

This Article focuses on the regulatory use of finance theory, particularly the efficient market hypothesis ("EMH"), in two areas where securities pricing is at issue: shareholder appraisal cases and the use of employer stock in benefit plans. Regarding shareholder appraisal cases, the Article finds that the Delaware courts seem to implicitly respect the principles of EMH when ascertaining the fair value of stock, but recognize that markets cannot operate efficiently if information is withheld. Regarding employer stock in benefit plans, it concentrates on the explicit adoption of EMH by the Department of Labor to exempt directed trustees from traditional duties ...


Should Patent Infringement Require Proof Of Copying?, Mark A. Lemley May 2007

Should Patent Infringement Require Proof Of Copying?, Mark A. Lemley

Michigan Law Review

Patent infringement is a strict liability offense. Patent law gives patent owners not just the right to prevent others from copying their ideas, but the power to control the use of their idea--even by those who independently develop a technology with no knowledge of the patent or the patentee. This is a power that exists nowhere else in intellectual property (IP) or real property law, but it is a one that patentees have had, with rare exceptions, since the inception of the Republic. In an important paper in the Michigan Law Review, Samson Vermont seeks to change this, arguing that ...


Illuminating Secrecy: A New Economic Analysis Of Confidential Settlements, Scott A. Moss Mar 2007

Illuminating Secrecy: A New Economic Analysis Of Confidential Settlements, Scott A. Moss

Michigan Law Review

Even the most hotly contested lawsuits typically end in a confidential settlement forbidding the parties from disclosing their allegations, evidence, or settlement amount. Confidentiality draws fierce criticism for harming third parties by concealing serious misdeeds like discrimination, pollution, defective manufacturing, and sexual abuse. Others defend confidentiality as a mutually beneficial pay-for-silence bargain that facilitates settlement, serves judicial economy, and prevents frivolous copycat lawsuits. This debate is based in economic logic, yet most analyses have been surprisingly shallow as to how confidentiality affects incentives to settle. Depicting a more nuanced, complex reality of litigation and settlement, this Article reaches several conclusions ...


Knowledge, Competition And The Innovation: Is Stronger Ipr Protection Really Needed For More And Better Innovations, Giovanni Dosi, Luigi Marengo, Corrado Pasquali Jan 2007

Knowledge, Competition And The Innovation: Is Stronger Ipr Protection Really Needed For More And Better Innovations, Giovanni Dosi, Luigi Marengo, Corrado Pasquali

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

The main questions addressed in this Article are thus: given that growth is a highly desirable phenomenon and that it is primarily spurred by technological innovation, how should society solve the problem of favoring a sufficient level of investments in R&D? In particular, is it necessarily true and always desirable that, independent of any other consideration, society should protect innovators from competition and shelter them in a legally protected and enforced monopoly? Is it true that the real source of economic value of new recipes is only found in the blueprints of ideas that those recipes implement? Is it ...


Time To Step Up: Modeling The African American Ethnivestor For Self-Help Entrepreneurship In Urban America, Roger M. Groves Jan 2007

Time To Step Up: Modeling The African American Ethnivestor For Self-Help Entrepreneurship In Urban America, Roger M. Groves

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

When the United States Congress passed legislation in late 2000 to revitalize the urban core with incentives for equity investors, African Americans were inconspicuously absent as stakeholders in the enterprise. Subsidies in the form of tax credits were instead gobbled up by investor groups who developed upscale hotel-convention centers, high priced condominiums, and symphony orchestra venues that the pre-existing poor residents could not afford. The focus of this Article is not to blame those investors who took advantage of the opportunity, though they perverted the purpose of the subsidy. Rather, this Article seeks to identify a new substrata of the ...


Review Of Foreign Direct Investment And The Regional Economy, James R. Hines Jr. Jan 2007

Review Of Foreign Direct Investment And The Regional Economy, James R. Hines Jr.

Reviews

There is a broad consensus that foreign direct investment (FDI) confers economic advantages on local economies. Jones and Wren simply refuse to share the good feeling about FDI without first processing some numbers. In doing so, they take a detached and serious look at the consequences of foreign direct investment in one area, the northeastern region of England. They have access to excellent data on the regional operations of foreign-owned plants from 1985 to 1999, and use these data to answer important questions about FDI in the region. How large are the benefits that FDI brings, as measured by new ...


The Angel Is In The Big Picture: A Response To Lemley, Samson Vermont Jan 2007

The Angel Is In The Big Picture: A Response To Lemley, Samson Vermont

Michigan Law Review

An invention within close reach of multiple inventors differs from an invention within distant reach of a lone inventor. The differences between these two archetypes of invention -"reinventables" and "singletons"- remain unexploited under current U.S. law. Should we reform the law to exploit the differences? Mark Lemley and I agree that we should. To date, those economists who have closely examined the issue concur. What are the differences between reinventables and singletons? First, reinventables can be brought into existence with incentives of lower magnitude. This suggests that we can obtain reinventables at a lower price than we currently pay-i ...


A Business Ethics Perspective On Sarbanes-Oxley And The Organizational Sentencing Guidelines, David Hess Jan 2007

A Business Ethics Perspective On Sarbanes-Oxley And The Organizational Sentencing Guidelines, David Hess

Michigan Law Review

This Article assesses the ability of Sarbanes-Oxley and other recent changes in the law and stock exchange listing requirements to reduce the incidence of fraud and to increase the reporting of financial misconduct. It begins by examining the individual decision-makers within a corporation and analyzing their intentions and behaviors under the Theory of Planned Behavior. It then examines the ability of the organization to influence the employees' intentions and behaviors through codes of ethics and compliance programs, and finds growing support for the usefulness of integrity based compliance programs. Finally, the Article considers how the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation and Organizational Sentencing ...


Sarbanes-Oxley And The Cross-Listing Premium, Kate Litvak Jan 2007

Sarbanes-Oxley And The Cross-Listing Premium, Kate Litvak

Michigan Law Review

This article tests whether the Sarbanes-Oxley Act ("SOX") affected the premium that investors are willing to pay for shares of foreign companies cross-listed in the United States. I find that from year-end 2001 (pre-SOX) to year-end 2002 (after SOX adoption), the Tobin's q and market/book ratios of foreign companies subject to SOX (cross-listed on levels 2 or 3) declined significantly, relative to Tobin's q and market/book ratios of both (i) matching non-cross-listed foreign companies from the same country, the same industry, and of similar size, and (ii) cross-listed companies from the same country that are not ...


What's Good For The Goose Is Not Good For The Gander: Sarbanes-Oxley-Style Nonprofit Reforms, Lumen N. Mulligan Jan 2007

What's Good For The Goose Is Not Good For The Gander: Sarbanes-Oxley-Style Nonprofit Reforms, Lumen N. Mulligan

Michigan Law Review

In this Article, I contend that the Sarbanes-Oxley-inspired nonprofit reforms currently being put forward in seven states, particularly the costly disclosure requirements, will be of little value in the effort to improve ethical nonprofit board governance. After providing a primer on the oversight of nonprofit organizations and highlighting the unique difficulties facing the nonprofit sector the Article reviews the recent Sarbanes-Oxley-like nonprofit reforms introduced in seven states. It then contends that the disclosure- focused reforms that form the bulwark of these initiatives will not foster improved ethical nonprofit board governance. It also argues that this failure stems from the inappropriate ...


Does Nonprofit Ownership Matter?, Jill R. Horwitz Jan 2007

Does Nonprofit Ownership Matter?, Jill R. Horwitz

Articles

In recent years, policymakers have increasingly questioned whether nonprofit institutions, particularly hospitals, merit tax exemption. They argue that nonprofit hospitals differ little from their for-profit counterparts in the provision of charity care and, therefore, should either lose their tax-exempt status or adhere to new, strict, and specific requirements to provide free services for the poor. In this Article, I present evidence that hospital ownership-whether it is for-profit, nonprofit, or government owned-has a significant effect on the mix of medical services it offers. Despite notoriously weak enforcement mechanisms, nonprofit hospitals act in the public interest by providing services that are unlikely ...


Insider Trading Rules Can Affect Attractiveness Of Country's Stock Markets, Laura Nyantung Beny Jan 2007

Insider Trading Rules Can Affect Attractiveness Of Country's Stock Markets, Laura Nyantung Beny

Articles

The academic debate about the desirability of prohibiting insider trading is longstanding and as yet unresolved. Until Henry Manne’s 1966 book, Insider Trading and the Stock Market, the debate centered on whether insider trading is unfair to public investors who are not privy to private corporate information. However, the fairness approach is malleable and indeterminate and thus does not lend itself to clear-cut policy prescriptions. Since Manne’s book, the focus of the debate has been on the effect of insider trading on economic efficiency. Manne argued that, contrary to the prevailing legal and moral opinion of the time ...


Against Irreparable Benefits, Omri Ben-Shahar Jan 2007

Against Irreparable Benefits, Omri Ben-Shahar

Articles

In a recent essay in The Yale Law Journal, Douglas Lichtman argues that courts considering preliminary injunctions should account for irreparable benefits in addition to irreparable harms. This is a provocative idea. If a preliminary injunction harms one party but benefits the other, and if both effects are equally difficult to subsequently undo, why focus on one effect (harm) and ignore the other (benefit)? There is a compelling geometric validity to this symmetry observation. But is this a valuable “flipping” exercise? Does it shed a new light and provide useful insight into the law of injunctions? In this Response I ...


Banking The Poor: Overcoming The Financial Services Mismatch, Michael S. Barr Jan 2007

Banking The Poor: Overcoming The Financial Services Mismatch, Michael S. Barr

Book Chapters

Low-income households often lack access to bank accounts and face high costs for transacting basic financial services through check cashers and other alternative financial service providers. Twenty-two percent of low- and moderateincome American households do not have a checking or savings account. Many other "underbanked" families have bank accounts but still rely on high-cost financial services. These households find it more difficult to save and plan financially for the future. Living paycheck to paycheck leaves them vulnerable to medical or job emergencies that may endanger their financial stability, and lack of longer-term savings undermines their ability to improve skills, purchase ...


Insider Trading Laws And Stock Markets Around The World: An Empirical Contribution To The Theoretical Law And Economics Debate, Laura Nyantung Beny Jan 2007

Insider Trading Laws And Stock Markets Around The World: An Empirical Contribution To The Theoretical Law And Economics Debate, Laura Nyantung Beny

Articles

The primary goal of this Article is to bring empirical evidence to bear on the heretofore largely theoretical law and economics debate about insider trading. The Article first summarizes various agency, market, and contractual (or "Coasian") theories of insider trading propounded over the course of this longstanding debate. The Article then proposes three testable hypotheses regarding the relationship between insider trading laws and several measures of stock market performance. Exploiting the natural variation of international data, the Article finds that more stringent insider trading laws are generally associated with more dispersed equity ownership, greater stock price accuracy and greater stock ...


Fixing 404, Joseph A. Grundfest, Steven E. Bochner Jan 2007

Fixing 404, Joseph A. Grundfest, Steven E. Bochner

Michigan Law Review

Although debate persists as to whether the costs of Sarbanes-Oxley's Section 404 regulations exceed their benefits, there is broad consensus that the rules have been inefficiently implemented. Substantive and procedural factors contribute to the rules' inefficiency. From a substantive perspective, the terms "material weakness" and "significant deficiency" are central to the implementing regulations and are easily interpreted to legitimize audits of controls that have only a remote probability of causing an inconsequential effect on the issuer's financial statements. As a quantitative matter the literature suggests that a control with a remote probability of causing an inconsequential effect has ...