Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 33

Full-Text Articles in Law

Regulatory Theory, Matthew D. Adler Dec 2009

Regulatory Theory, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This chapter reviews a range of topics connected to the justification of government regulation, including: the definition of “regulation”; welfarism, Kaldor-Hicks efficiency, and the Pareto principles; the fundamental theorems of welfare economics and the “market failure” framework for justifying regulation, which identifies different ways in which the conditions for those theorems may fail to hold true (such as externalities, public goods, monopoly power, and imperfect information); the Coase theorem; and the different forms of regulation.


State Finance In Times Of Crisis, Brian Galle, Jonathan Klick Sep 2009

State Finance In Times Of Crisis, Brian Galle, Jonathan Klick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

As recent events illustrate, state finances are pro-cyclical: during recessions, state revenues crash, worsening the effects of economic downturns. This problem is well-known, yet persistent. We argue here that, in light of predictable federalism and political economy dynamics, states will be unable to change this situation on their own. Additionally, we note that many possible federal remedies may result in worse problems, such as creating moral hazard that would induce states to take on excessively risky policy, both fiscal and otherwise. Thus, we argue that policy makers should consider so-called “automatic” stabilizers, such as are found in the federal tax ...


Future Generations: A Prioritarian View, Matthew D. Adler Sep 2009

Future Generations: A Prioritarian View, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Should we remain neutral between our interests and those of future generations? Or are we ethically permitted or even required to depart from neutrality and engage in some measure of intergenerational discounting? This Article addresses the problem of intergenerational discounting by drawing on two different intellectual traditions: the social welfare function (“SWF”) tradition in welfare economics, and scholarship on “prioritarianism” in moral philosophy. Unlike utilitarians, prioritarians are sensitive to the distribution of well-being. They give greater weight to well-being changes affecting worse-off individuals. Prioritarianism can be captured, formally, through an SWF which sums a concave transformation of individual utility, rather ...


Nonrivalry And Price Discrimination In Copyright Economics, John P. Conley, Christopher S. Yoo May 2009

Nonrivalry And Price Discrimination In Copyright Economics, John P. Conley, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The literature on the economics of copyright proceeds from the premise that copyrightable works constitute pure public goods, which is generally modeled by assuming that such works are nonexcludable and that the marginal cost of making additional copies is essentially zero. A close examination of the foundational literature on public goods theory reveals that the defining characteristic of public goods is instead the optimality criterion known as the “Samuelson condition,” which implies that the systematic bias toward underproduction is the result of the inability to induce consumers to reveal their preferences rather than the inability to exclude or price at ...


Analyzing Horizontal Mergers: Unilateral Effects In Product-Differentiated Markets, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Mar 2009

Analyzing Horizontal Mergers: Unilateral Effects In Product-Differentiated Markets, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay offers a brief, non-technical exposition of the antitrust analysis of horizontal mergers in product differentiated markets where the resulting price increase is thought to be unilateral - that is, only the post-merger firm increases its prices while other firms in the market do not. More realistically, non-merging firms who are reasonably close in product space to the merging firm will also be able to increase their prices when the post-merger firm's prices rise. The unilateral effects theory is robust and has become quite conventional in merger analysis. There is certainly no reason for thinking that it involves any ...


The Relation Between Regulation And Class Actions: Evidence From The Insurance Industry, Eric Helland, Jonathan Klick Mar 2009

The Relation Between Regulation And Class Actions: Evidence From The Insurance Industry, Eric Helland, Jonathan Klick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Standard law and economics models imply that regulation and litigation serve as substitutes. We test this by looking at the incidence of insurance class actions as a function of measures of regulatory enforcement. We also look specifically at whether states with clear regulatory standards regarding the use of OEM parts experience less litigation over this issue. We find no evidence of substitution between regulation and litigation. We also examine the possibility that litigation is more frequent in states where regulators are more likely to be captured by industry interests, finding no support for this hypothesis either. Instead, litigation is more ...


Does Anyone Get Stopped At The Gate? An Empirical Assessment Of The Daubert Trilogy In The States, Eric Helland, Jonathan Klick Mar 2009

Does Anyone Get Stopped At The Gate? An Empirical Assessment Of The Daubert Trilogy In The States, Eric Helland, Jonathan Klick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Supreme Court’s trilogy of evidence cases, Daubert, Joiner, and Kumho Tire appear to mark a significant departure in the way scientific and expert evidence is handled in federal court. By focusing on the underlying methods used to generate the experts’ conclusions, Daubert has the potential to impose a more rigorous standard on experts. Given this potential, some individuals have called for states to adopt the Daubert standards to purge “junk science” from state courts. However, there is relatively little empirical support for the notion that Daubert affects the quality of expert evidence. Using a large dataset of state ...


The Myth Of Equality In The Employment Relation, Aditi Bagchi Mar 2009

The Myth Of Equality In The Employment Relation, Aditi Bagchi

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Although it is widely understood that employers and employees are not equally situated, we fail adequately to account for this inequality in the law governing their relationship. We can best understand this inequality in terms of status, which encompasses one’s level of income, leisure and discretion. For a variety of misguided reasons, contract law has been historically highly resistant to the introduction of status-based principles. Courts have preferred to characterize the unfavorable circumstances that many employees face as the product of unequal bargaining power. But bargaining power disparity does not capture the moral problem raised by inequality in the ...


Originality, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein Mar 2009

Originality, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this Essay we introduce a model of copyright law that calibrates authors’ rights and liabilities to the level of originality in their works. We advocate this model as a substitute for the extant regime that unjustly and inefficiently grants equal protection to all works satisfying the “modicum of creativity” standard. Under our model, highly original works will receive enhanced protection and their authors will also be sheltered from suits by owners of preexisting works. Conversely, authors of less original works will receive diminished protection and incur greater exposure to copyright liability. We operationalize this proposal by designing separate rules ...


The Neal Report And The Crisis In Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Mar 2009

The Neal Report And The Crisis In Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Neal Report, which was commissioned by Lyndon Johnson and published in 1967, is rightfully criticized for representing the past rather than the future of antitrust. Its authors completely embraced a theory of competition and industrial organization that had dominated American economic thinking for forty years, but was just in the process of coming to an end. The structure-conduct-performance (S-C-P) paradigm that the Neal Report embodied had in fact been one of the most elegant and most tested theories of industrial organization. The theory represented the high point of structuralism in industrial organization economics, resting on the proposition that certain ...


Bankruptcy Or Bailouts?, Kenneth M. Ayotte, David A. Skeel Jr. Mar 2009

Bankruptcy Or Bailouts?, Kenneth M. Ayotte, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The usual reaction if one mentions bankruptcy as a mechanism for addressing a financial institution’s default is incredulity. Those who favor the rescue of troubled financial institutions, and even those who prefer that their assets be promptly sold to a healthier institution, treat bankruptcy as anathema. Everyone seems to agree that nothing good can come from bankruptcy. Indeed, the Chapter 11 filing by Lehman Brothers has been singled out by many the primary cause of the severe economic and financial contraction that followed, and proof that bankruptcy is disorderly and ineffective. As a result, ad-hoc rescue lending to avoid ...


The Sucker Norm, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan Jan 2009

The Sucker Norm, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this paper, I review the theoretical and empirical scholarship bearing on the notion of being a sucker. I suggest that there is a social norm against being a sucker, and that a number of experimental results could be reconsidered in light of this "sucker norm." First, I establish, at least for the purposes of this analysis, the basic parameters of what it means to be a sucker. Second, I consider when the fear of being a sucker is helpful or normative, and when it seems to be misapplied to cases in which it might actually lead to sub-optimal outcomes ...


Reconceptualizing Trespass, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein Jan 2009

Reconceptualizing Trespass, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Essay addresses an anomaly in trespass law. Trespass law is generally understood as the paradigmatic example of property-rule protection: an owner can obtain an injunction against the trespasser and have him removed from her land. The property-rule protection enjoyed by the owner protects her right to exclude others and to set the price for the use of her property. However, the property-rule protection only exists ex ante: it avails only against imminent or ongoing trespasses. Ex post, after a trespass ends, the owner can only recover compensation measured by the market value of the unauthorized use, i.e., the ...


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

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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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


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

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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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


Wikitruth Through Wikiorder, David A. Hoffman, Salil K. Mehra Jan 2009

Wikitruth Through Wikiorder, David A. Hoffman, Salil K. Mehra

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

How does large-scale social production coordinate individual behavior to produce public goods? Hardin (1968) denied that the creation of public goods absent markets or the State is possible. Benkler (2006), Shirky (2008), Zittrain (2008), and Lessig (2008) recently countered that the needed coordination might emerge though social norms. However, the means to this coordination is under-theorized. Focusing on Wikipedia, we argue that the site’s dispute resolution process is an important force in promoting the public good it produces, i.e., a large number of relatively accurate public encyclopedia articles. We describe the development and shape of Wikipedia’s existing ...


Bankruptcy Boundary Games, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2009

Bankruptcy Boundary Games, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

For the past several decades, Congress has steadily expanded the exclusion of securities market operations from core bankruptcy protections. This Article focuses on three of the most important of these issues: the exclusion of brokerage firms from Chapter 11; the protection of settlement payments from avoidance as preferences or fraudulent conveyances; and the exemption of derivatives from the automatic stay and other basic bankruptcy provisions. In Parts I, II and III of the Article, I consider each of the issues in turn, showing that each has had serious unintended consequences. Both Drexel Burnham and Lehman Brothers evaded the brokerage exclusion ...


Hedge Fund Activism In The Enforcement Of Bondholder Rights, Marcel Kahan, Edward B. Rock Jan 2009

Hedge Fund Activism In The Enforcement Of Bondholder Rights, Marcel Kahan, Edward B. Rock

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Activist hedge funds have transformed how bondholders respond to violations of their contractual rights. Insurance companies and mutual funds, the traditional investors in bonds, often slept on their rights and turned active only little and late. Hedge funds, by contrast, seek out opportunities for activism in order to make profits. In the wake of their activism, hedge funds have not only benefitted themselves, but their fellow bondholders as well. Alas, the remedy scheme for violations of bondholders rights – in particular, the centrality of the acceleration remedy – introduces its own set of imperfections. When treasury interest rates have increased or the ...


The Legal Origins Theory In Crisis, Lisa Fairfax Jan 2009

The Legal Origins Theory In Crisis, Lisa Fairfax

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Legal Origins Theory purports to predict how countries respond to economic and social problems. Specifically, the legal origins of the United States should strongly influence the manner it approaches economic problems and its approach should be distinct from the response of civil law countries. If the theory is accurate, America's legal tradition should have a profound impact on its response to the crisis. This Article seeks to test the boundaries of the theory by assessing whether it could have predicted the manner the U.S. responded to the current economic crisis. After analyzing the U.S. response to ...


Consumer Protection In An Era Of Globalization, Cary Coglianese, Adam M. Finkel, David T. Zaring Jan 2009

Consumer Protection In An Era Of Globalization, Cary Coglianese, Adam M. Finkel, David T. Zaring

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

With expanding global trade, the challenge of protecting consumers from unsafe food, pharmaceuticals, and consumer products has grown increasingly salient, necessitating the development of new policy ideas and analysis. This chapter introduces the book, Import Safety: Regulatory Governance in the Global Economy, a multidisciplinary project analyzing import safety problems and an array of innovative solutions to these problems. The challenge of protecting the public from unsafe imports arises from the sheer volume of global trade as well as the complexity of products being traded and the vast number of inputs each product contains. It is further compounded by the fact ...


Treatment Differences And Political Realities In The Gaap-Ifrs Debate, William W. Bratton, Lawrence A. Cunningham Jan 2009

Treatment Differences And Political Realities In The Gaap-Ifrs Debate, William W. Bratton, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Law, Society, And Medical Malpractice Litigation In Japan, Eric Feldman Jan 2009

Law, Society, And Medical Malpractice Litigation In Japan, Eric Feldman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Law And The Boundaries Of Techniology-Intensive Firms, Oren Bar-Gill, Gideon Parchomovsky Jan 2009

Law And The Boundaries Of Techniology-Intensive Firms, Oren Bar-Gill, Gideon Parchomovsky

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Unentrapped, William W. Bratton Jan 2009

Unentrapped, William W. Bratton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


The Effects Of Tort Reform On Medical Malpractice Insurers’ Ultimate Losses, Patricia Born, W. Kip Viscusi, Tom Baker Jan 2009

The Effects Of Tort Reform On Medical Malpractice Insurers’ Ultimate Losses, Patricia Born, W. Kip Viscusi, Tom Baker

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Whereas the literature evaluating the effect of tort reforms has focused on reported incurred losses, this paper examines the long run effects using a comprehensive sample by state of individual firms writing medical malpractice insurance from 1984-2003. The long run effects of reforms are greater than insurers' expected effects, as five year developed losses and ten year developed losses are below the initially reported incurred losses for those years following reform measures. The quantile regressions show the greatest effects of joint and several liability limits, noneconomic damages caps, and punitive damages reforms for the firms that are at the high ...


The Viability Of Antitrust Price Squeeze Claims, Erik Hovenkamp, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2009

The Viability Of Antitrust Price Squeeze Claims, Erik Hovenkamp, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

A price squeeze occurs when a vertically integrated firm "squeezes' a rival's margins between a high wholesale price for an essential input sold to the rival, and a low output price to consumers for whom the two firms compete. Price squeezes have been a recognized but controversial antitrust violation for two-thirds of a century. We examine the law and economics of the price squeeze, beginning with Judge Hand's famous discussion in the Alcoa case in 1945. While Alcoa has been widely portrayed as creating a "fairness" or "fair profit" test for unlawful price squeezes, Judge Hand actually adopted ...


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

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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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


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

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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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


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

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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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


Taxation And The Competitiveness Of Sovereign Wealth Funds: Do Taxes Encourage Sovereign Wealth Funds To Invest In The United States?, Michael S. Knoll Jan 2009

Taxation And The Competitiveness Of Sovereign Wealth Funds: Do Taxes Encourage Sovereign Wealth Funds To Invest In The United States?, Michael S. Knoll

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) control vast amounts of capital and have made and are continuing to make numerous large, high-profile investments in the United States, especially in the financial services industry. Those investments in particular and SWFs in general are highly controversial. There is much discussion of the advantages and disadvantages to the United States of investments by SWFs and there is an intense and ongoing debate over what should be the United States’ policy towards investments by SWFs. In the course of that debate, some critics have called upon the US government to abandon its long-held public position of ...