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Full-Text Articles in Law

Against Monetary Primacy, Yair Listokin, Rory Van Loo Mar 2024

Against Monetary Primacy, Yair Listokin, Rory Van Loo

Faculty Scholarship

Every passing month of high interest rates increases the chances of massive job cuts and a devastating recession that still might come if the Fed maintains interest rates at their current levels for long enough. Recessions impose not only widespread short-term pain but also lifelong harms for many, as vulnerable populations and those who start their careers during a downturn never fully recover. Yet hiking interest rates is the centerpiece of U.S. inflation-fighting policy. When inflation is high, the Fed raises interest rates until inflation is tamed, regardless of the sacrifice that ensues. We call this inflation-fighting paradigm monetary primacy. …


Getting Merger Guidelines Right, Keith N. Hylton Feb 2024

Getting Merger Guidelines Right, Keith N. Hylton

Faculty Scholarship

This paper is on the new Merger Guidelines. It makes several arguments. First, that the Guidelines should be understood as existing in a political equilibrium. Second, that the new structural presumption of the Merger Guidelines (HHI = 1,800) is too strict, and that an economically reasonable revision in the structural presumption would have increased rather than decreased the threshold. Whereas the new Guidelines lowers the threshold to HHI 1,800 from HHI 2,500, an economically reasonable revision would have increased the threshold to HHI 3,200. I justify this argument using a bare-bones model of Cournot competition. Third, it seems unlikely, …


A Reputational View Of Antitrust’S Consumer Welfare Standard, Murat C. Mungan, John M. Yun Jan 2024

A Reputational View Of Antitrust’S Consumer Welfare Standard, Murat C. Mungan, John M. Yun

Faculty Scholarship

A reform movement is underway in antitrust. Citing prior enforcement failures, deviations from the original intent of the antitrust laws, and overall rising levels of sector concentration, some are seeking to fundamentally alter or altogether replace the current consumer welfare standard, which has guided courts over the past fifty years. This policy push has sparked an intense debate over the best approach to antitrust law enforcement. In this Article, we examine a previously unexplored potential social cost from moving away from the consumer welfare standard: a loss in the information value to the public from a finding of liability. A …


Antisocial Innovation, Christopher Buccafusco, Samuel N. Weinstein Jan 2024

Antisocial Innovation, Christopher Buccafusco, Samuel N. Weinstein

Faculty Scholarship

Innovation is a form of civic religion in the United States. In the popular imagination, innovators are heroic figures. Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, and (for a while) Elizabeth Holmes were lauded for their vision and drive and seen to embody the American spirit of invention and improvement. For their part, politicians rarely miss a chance to trumpet their vision for boosting innovative activity. Popular and political culture alike treat innovation as an unalloyed good. And the law is deeply committed to fostering innovation, spending billions of dollars a year to make sure society has enough of it. But this sunny …


After Ftx: Can The Original Bitcoin Use Case Be Saved?, Mark Burge Dec 2023

After Ftx: Can The Original Bitcoin Use Case Be Saved?, Mark Burge

Faculty Scholarship

Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies spawned by the innovation of blockchain programming have exploded in prominence, both in gains of massive market value and in dramatic market losses, the latter most notably seen in connection with the failure of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange in November 2022. After years of investment and speculation, however, something crucial has faded: the original use case for Bitcoin as a system of payment. Can cryptocurrency-as-a-payment-system be saved, or are day traders and speculators the actual cryptocurrency future? This article suggests that cryptocurrency has been hobbled by a lack of foundational commercial and consumer-protection law that …


Opinion: How Software Stifles Competition And Innovation, James Bessen Oct 2023

Opinion: How Software Stifles Competition And Innovation, James Bessen

Faculty Scholarship

Innovation is not what it used to be, and software is part of the reason. In many industries—industries well beyond Big Tech—dominant firms have built large software-based platforms delivering important consumer benefits, but these platforms also slow the rise of innovative rivals, including productive startups.5 Because access to these platforms is limited, competition has been constrained, creating a troubling market dynamic that slows economic growth.


Originalism, Official History, And Perspectives Versus Methodologies, Keith N. Hylton Sep 2023

Originalism, Official History, And Perspectives Versus Methodologies, Keith N. Hylton

Faculty Scholarship

This paper addresses a well-worn topic: originalism, the theory that judges should interpret the Constitution in a manner consistent with the intent of its framers. I am interested in the real-world effects of originalism. The primary effect advanced by originalists is the tendency of the approach to constrain the discretion of judges. However, another effect of originalism that I identify is the creation of official histories, a practice that imposes a hidden tax on society. Another question I consider is whether originalism should be considered a methodology of analyzing the law or a perspective on the law. I argue that …


Estimating The Impact Of The Age Of Criminal Majority: Decomposing Multiple Treatments In A Regression Discontinuity Framework, Michael Mueller-Smith, Benjamin David Pyle, Caroline Walker Jul 2023

Estimating The Impact Of The Age Of Criminal Majority: Decomposing Multiple Treatments In A Regression Discontinuity Framework, Michael Mueller-Smith, Benjamin David Pyle, Caroline Walker

Faculty Scholarship

This paper studies the impact of adult prosecution on recidivism and employment trajectories for adolescent, first-time felony defendants. We use extensive linked Criminal Justice Administrative Record System and socio-economic data from Wayne County, Michigan (Detroit). Using the discrete age of majority rule and a regression discontinuity design, we find that adult prosecution reduces future criminal charges over 5 years by 0.48 felony cases (↓ 20%) while also worsening labor market outcomes: 0.76 fewer employers (↓ 19%) and $674 fewer earnings (↓ 21%) per year. We develop a novel econometric framework that combines standard regression discontinuity methods with predictive machine learning …


Initiation Payments, Scott Hirst Jul 2023

Initiation Payments, Scott Hirst

Faculty Scholarship

Many of the central discussions in corporate governance, including those regarding proxy contests, shareholder proposals, and other activism or stewardship, can be understood as a single question: Is there under-initiation of corporate changes that investors would collectively prefer?

This Article sheds light on this question in three ways. First, the Article proposes a theory of investor initiation, which explains the hypothesis that there is under-initiation of collectively-preferred corporate change by investors. Even though investors collectively prefer that certain corporate changes take place, the costs to any individual investor from initiating such changes through high-cost proxy contests, or even low-cost shareholder …


Beneath The Property Taxes Financing Education, Timothy M. Mulvaney Jun 2023

Beneath The Property Taxes Financing Education, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

Many states turn in sizable part to local property taxes to finance public education. Political and academic discourse on the extent to which these taxes should serve in this role largely centers on second-order issues, such as the vices and virtues of local control, the availability of mechanisms to redistribute property tax revenues across school districts, and the overall stability of those revenues. This Essay contends that such discourse would benefit from directing greater attention to the justice of the government’s threshold choices about property law and policy that impact the property values against which property taxes are levied.

The …


What’S Scope 3 Good For?, Madison Condon Jun 2023

What’S Scope 3 Good For?, Madison Condon

Faculty Scholarship

Opposition to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) new rule on updated climate risk reporting has focused on one category of disclosures as particularly objectionable: Scope 3 emissions.7 Otherwise known as “supply chain emissions,” Scope 3 emissions have been voluntarily reported by a growing number of companies since the term was invented as part of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol in 2001.8 They include all the emissions both up and downstream of a corporations’ own activities: the emissions of the privately-owned factory that produced the shoes Target sells, as well as the emissions you burn while driving to the …


The Long Shadow Of Inevitable Disclosure, Stacey Dogan, Felicity Slater Apr 2023

The Long Shadow Of Inevitable Disclosure, Stacey Dogan, Felicity Slater

Faculty Scholarship

A growing body of evidence has highlighted the human and economic costs associated with contractual restrictions on employee mobility. News accounts describe abusive use of non-compete clauses to prevent low wage workers from seeking better options. Economists, meanwhile, have demonstrated that innovation and economic dynamism may suffer when employers can easily prevent their employees from changing jobs. While state legislatures have attempted to address these concerns by restricting employers' use of non-compete agreements, the Federal Trade Commission recently announced a plan to prohibit them altogether. As policymakers focus attention on contractual limits on employment mobility, however, a more insidious threat …


Climate Services: The Business Of Physical Risk, Madison Condon Apr 2023

Climate Services: The Business Of Physical Risk, Madison Condon

Faculty Scholarship

A growing number of investors, insurers, financial services providers, and nonprofits rely on information about localized physical climate risks, like floods, hurricanes, and wildfires. The outcomes of these risk projections have significant consequences in the economy, including allocating investment capital, impacting housing prices and demographic shifts, and prioritizing adaptation infrastructure projects. The climate risk information available to individual citizens and municipalities, however, is limited and expensive to access. Further, many providers of climate services use black box models that make overseeing the scientific rigor of their methodologies impossible— a concern given scientific critiques that many may be obfuscating the uncertainty …


Information Costs And The Civil Justice System, Keith N. Hylton Mar 2023

Information Costs And The Civil Justice System, Keith N. Hylton

Faculty Scholarship

Litigation is costly because information is not free. Given that information is costly and perfect information prohibitively costly, courts will occasionally err. Finally, the fact that information is costly implies an unavoidable degree of informational asymmetry between disputants. This paper presents a model of the civil justice system that incorporates these features and probes its implications for compliance with the law, efficiency of law, accuracy in adjudication, trial outcome statistics, and the evolution of legal standards. The model’s claims are applied to and tested against the relevant empirical and legal literature. (JEL: D74, K10, K13, K41)


Trial Selection And Estimating Damages Equations, Keith N. Hylton Jan 2023

Trial Selection And Estimating Damages Equations, Keith N. Hylton

Faculty Scholarship

Many studies have employed regression analysis with data drawn from court opinions. For example, an analyst might use regression analysis to determine the factors that explain the size of damages awards or the factors that determine the probability that the plaintiff will prevail at trial or on appeal. However, the full potential of multiple regression analysis in legal research has not been realized, largely because of the sample selection problem. We propose a method for controlling for sample selection bias using data from court opinions.


Specific Performance: On Freedom And Commitment In Contract Law, Hanoch Dagan, Michael A. Heller Jan 2023

Specific Performance: On Freedom And Commitment In Contract Law, Hanoch Dagan, Michael A. Heller

Faculty Scholarship

When should specific performance be available for breach of contract? This question — at the core of contract — divides common-law and civil-law jurisdictions and it has bedeviled generations of comparativists, along with legal economists, historians, and philosophers. Yet none of these disciplines has provided a persuasive answer. This Article provides a normatively attractive and conceptually coherent account, one grounded in respect for the autonomy of the promisor’s future self. Properly understood, autonomy explains why expectation damages should be the ordinary remedy for contract breach. This same normative commitment justifies the “uniqueness exception,” where specific performance is typically awarded, and …


Climate Choice Architecture, Felix Mormann Jan 2023

Climate Choice Architecture, Felix Mormann

Faculty Scholarship

Personal choices drive global warming nearly as much as institutional decisions. Yet, policymakers overwhelmingly target large-scale industrial facilities for reductions in carbon emissions, with individual and household emissions a mere afterthought. Recent advances in behavioral economics, cognitive psychology, and related fields have produced a veritable behavior change revolution. Subtle changes to the choice environment, or nudges, have improved stake-holder decision-making in a wide range of contexts, from healthier food choices to better retirement planning. But the vast potential of choice architecture remains largely untapped for purposes of climate policy and action. This Article explores that untapped potential and makes the …


Amazon's Pricing Paradox, Rory Van Loo, Nikita Aggarwal Jan 2023

Amazon's Pricing Paradox, Rory Van Loo, Nikita Aggarwal

Faculty Scholarship

Antitrust scholars have widely debated the apparent paradox of Amazon seemingly wielding monopoly power while offering low prices to consumers. A single company’s behavior thereby helped spark an intellectual renaissance as scholars debated why Amazon’s prices were so low, whether antitrust enforcers should intervene, and, eventually, how the field should be reformed for the era of large online platforms. One of the few things that all parties have agreed upon amidst those contentious conversations is that Amazon offers low prices. This Article challenges that assumption by demonstrating that Amazon charges higher prices than commonly understood. More importantly, unraveling the disconnect …


"Green" Corporate Governance, Madison Condon Jan 2023

"Green" Corporate Governance, Madison Condon

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter explores the rise and future of “green” corporate governance, including how concerns about the changing climate are shaping long-extant debates in corporate law.2 This area is difficult to survey in one short chapter, both because it has exploded in importance, and because it intersects in its own way with many of the topics discussed in the above chapters. Compliance, directors’ duties, corporate purpose, corporate groups, and investor stewardship, are just a few of the issues bound up in the rapid and recent shift toward thinking about climate change and its intersection with corporate governance.3

The rise …


The Price Of Fairness, Christopher Buccafusco, Daniel Hemel, Eric Talley Jan 2023

The Price Of Fairness, Christopher Buccafusco, Daniel Hemel, Eric Talley

Faculty Scholarship

The COVID-19 pandemic led to acute supply shortages across the country as well as concerns over price increases amid surging demand. In the process, it reawakened a debate about whether and how to regulate “price gouging”—a controversy that continues as inflation has accelerated even as the pandemic abates. Animating this debate 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 …


The Failure Of Market Efficiency, William Magnuson Jan 2023

The Failure Of Market Efficiency, William Magnuson

Faculty Scholarship

Recent years have witnessed the near total triumph of market efficiency as a regulatory goal. Policymakers regularly proclaim their devotion to ensuring efficient capital markets. Courts use market efficiency as a guiding light for crafting legal doctrine. And scholars have explored in great depth the mechanisms of market efficiency and the role of law in promoting it. There is strong evidence that, at least on some metrics, our capital markets are indeed more efficient than they have ever been. But the pursuit of efficiency has come at a cost. By focusing our attention narrowly on economic efficiency concerns—such as competition, …


Is Corporate Law Nonpartisan?, Ofer Eldar, Gabriel V. Rauterberg Jan 2023

Is Corporate Law Nonpartisan?, Ofer Eldar, Gabriel V. Rauterberg

Faculty Scholarship

Only rarely does the United States Supreme Court hear a case with fundamental implications for corporate law. In Camey v. Adams, however, the Supreme Court had the opportunity to address whether the State of Delaware's requirement of partisan balance for its judiciary violates the First Amendment. Although the Court disposed of the case on other grounds, Justice Sotomayor acknowledged that the issue "will likely be raised again." The stakes are high because most large businesses are incorporated in Delaware and thus are governed by its corporate law. Former Delaware governors and chief justices lined up to defend the state's "nonpartisan" …


Price Gouging In A Pandemic, Christopher Buccafusco, Daniel Hemel, Eric L. Talley Jan 2023

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

Faculty Scholarship

The COVID-19 pandemic led to acute supply shortages across the country as well as concerns over price increases amid surging demand. In the process, it reawakened a debate about whether and how to regulate “price gouging” — a controversy that continues as inflation has accelerated even as the pandemic abates. Animating this debate 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 …


Financial Inclusion, Cryptocurrency, And Afrofuturism, Lynnise E. Pantin Jan 2023

Financial Inclusion, Cryptocurrency, And Afrofuturism, Lynnise E. Pantin

Faculty Scholarship

As a community, Black people consistently face barriers to full participation in traditional financial markets. The decentralized nature of the cryptocurrency market is attractive to a community that has been historically and systematically excluded from the traditional financial markets by both private and public actors. As new entrants to any type of financial market, Black people have increasingly embraced blockchain technology and cryptocurrency as a path towards the wealth-building opportunities and financial freedom they have been denied in traditional markets. This Article analyzes whether the technology’s decentralized system will lead to financial inclusion or increased financial exclusion. Without reconciling the …


Essential Property, Timothy M. Mulvaney, Joseph William Singer Dec 2022

Essential Property, Timothy M. Mulvaney, Joseph William Singer

Faculty Scholarship

For a sizable swath of the U.S. population, incomes and wealth are insufficient to cover life’s most basic necessities even in the most ordinary of times. A disturbingly resilient explanation for this state of affairs rests on the view that resource inequities are avoidable through self-reliance, a stance that invites observers to see people in poverty as morally suspect. This Article advances a counterview in contending that the widespread lack of essential resources did not simply arise naturally via individuals’ life choices but instead has been, in very meaningful part, created and perpetuated by our system of property laws.

The …


A Proposed Sec Cyber Data Disclosure Advisory Commission, Lawrence J. Trautman, Neal Newman Oct 2022

A Proposed Sec Cyber Data Disclosure Advisory Commission, Lawrence J. Trautman, Neal Newman

Faculty Scholarship

Constant cyber threats result in: intellectual property loss; data disruption; ransomware attacks; theft of valuable company intellectual property and sensitive customer information. During March 2022, The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a proposed rule addressing Cybersecurity Risk Management, Strategy, Governance, and Incident Disclosure, which requires: 1. Current reporting about material cybersecurity incidents; 2. Periodic disclosures about a registrant’s policies and procedures to identify and manage cybersecurity risks; 3. Management’s role in implementing cybersecurity policies and procedures; 4. Board of directors’ cybersecurity expertise, if any, and its oversight of cybersecurity risk; 5. Registrants to provide updates about previously reported cybersecurity …


Inflation, Market Failures, And Algorithms, Rory Van Loo Sep 2022

Inflation, Market Failures, And Algorithms, Rory Van Loo

Faculty Scholarship

Inflation is a problem of tremendous scale. But inflation itself is unlikely to cause the greatest economic harm during inflationary periods. Instead, a more likely source of devastation will be policymakers’ response to inflation. Their main anti-inflation tools, most notably increasing interest rates, increase unemployment and the risk of recessions. This Article argues that there is a better approach. Rather than defaulting to interest rate hikes that harm markets, policy makers should prioritize laws that lower prices while improving markets. For decades, businesses have raised prices by manipulating consumers, exercising monopoly power, and lobbying for laws that block competition. Automated …


Can Moral Framing Drive Insurance Enrollment In The Us?, Christopher Robertson, Wendy Netter Epstein, David Yokum, Hansoo Ko, Kevin Wilson, Monica Ramos, Katherine Kettering, Margaret Houtz Aug 2022

Can Moral Framing Drive Insurance Enrollment In The Us?, Christopher Robertson, Wendy Netter Epstein, David Yokum, Hansoo Ko, Kevin Wilson, Monica Ramos, Katherine Kettering, Margaret Houtz

Faculty Scholarship

To encourage health insurance uptake, marketers and policymakers have focused on consumers’ economic self-interest, attempting to show that insurance is a good deal or to sweeten the deal, with subsidies or penalties. Still, some consumers see insurance as a bad deal, either because they rationally exploit private risk information (“adverse selection”), or irrationally misperceive the value due to cognitive biases (e.g., optimism). As a result, about 30 million Americans remain uninsured, including many who could afford it.

At the same time, polling suggests that Americans view health insurance through a moral lens, seeking to protect those with pre-existing conditions especially. …


Who Benefits From Corporate Tax Cuts?: Evidence From Banks And Credit Unions Around The Tcja, Edward Fox, Benjamin David Pyle Aug 2022

Who Benefits From Corporate Tax Cuts?: Evidence From Banks And Credit Unions Around The Tcja, Edward Fox, Benjamin David Pyle

Faculty Scholarship

The TCJA of 2017 made large changes to the taxation of corporate and pass-through businesses in the U.S. Understanding the effects of these changes is complicated by the difficulty of finding control firms whose taxation was not altered by the Act. We study the effect of the TCJA on small and medium size banks using credit unions—which compete with these banks for deposits and in making loans—as a novel control group. Credit unions were not taxed both before and after the Act. Using a difference-in-difference framework, we find that an important fraction of the incidence of the tax cut goes …


Deregulation And The Lawyers' Cartel, Nuno Garoupa, Milan Markovic Aug 2022

Deregulation And The Lawyers' Cartel, Nuno Garoupa, Milan Markovic

Faculty Scholarship

At one time, the legal profession largely regulated itself. However, based on the economic notion that increased competition would benefit consumers, jurisdictions have deregulated their legal markets by easing rules relating to attorney advertising, fees, and, most recently, nonlawyer ownership of law firms. Yet, despite reformers’ high expectations, legal markets today resemble those of previous decades, and most legal services continue to be delivered by traditional law firms. How to account for this seeming inertia?

We argue that the competition paradigm is theoretically flawed because it fails to fully account for market failures relating to asymmetric information, imperfect information, and …