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Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Supreme Court’S Impact On Securities Class Actions: An Empirical Assessment Of Tellabs, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen Choi Aug 2009

The Supreme Court’S Impact On Securities Class Actions: An Empirical Assessment Of Tellabs, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen Choi

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

Using a sample of securities fraud class actions filed between 2003 and 2007, we study the impact of a widely-followed Supreme Court decision from that period, Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights, Ltd., 551 U.S. 308 (2007). This decision clarified the law with respect to one of the most hotly contested issues in securities litigation: pleading scienter. The Tellabs decision reversed a very lenient Seventh Circuit decision with respect to pleading scienter, but replaced it with a standard that is nonetheless relatively generous to plaintiffs. Looking at opinions resolving motions to dismiss decided before and after that decision, we ...


Coordinating Sanctions In Torts, Kyle D. Logue Jul 2009

Coordinating Sanctions In Torts, Kyle D. Logue

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

This Article begins with the canonical law-and-economics account of tort law as a regulatory tool, that is, as a means of giving regulated parties the optimal ex ante incentives to minimize the costs of accidents. Building on this regulatory picture of tort law, the Article asks the question how tort law should coordinate with already existing non-tort systems of regulation. Thus, for example, if a particular activity is already subject to extensive agency-based regulation, regulation that already addresses the negative externalities or other market failures associated with the activity, what regulatory role remains for tort law? Should tort law in ...


Corporate And International Tax Reform: Long-, Medium-, And Short Term Proposals, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jul 2009

Corporate And International Tax Reform: Long-, Medium-, And Short Term Proposals, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

The current controversy surrounding President Obama’s international tax proposals seems like an opportune moment to try to consider them in context. How do these proposals fit in with an agenda for US corporate and international tax reform?

Few observers doubt that such reforms are sorely needed, for several reasons. First, the long-term budgetary outlook is unsustainable. Second, the US corporate tax rate is among the highest in the OECD. Third, the current system raises relatively little revenue and large amounts of corporate income go untaxed. Finally, the system is horrendously convoluted and imposes high transaction costs.

This paper will ...


Designing A Federal Vat: Summary And Recommendations, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jun 2009

Designing A Federal Vat: Summary And Recommendations, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

For the past thirty-five years, the debate on fundamental tax reform in the United States has centered on whether some type of consumption tax would replace all or part of the federal income tax. In my opinion, this debate has now been decided. Given recent budgetary developments and the impending eligibility of the baby boom generation for Social Security and Medicare, we cannot dispense with the revenue from the corporate and individual income tax. Moreover, we will need huge amounts of additional revenue, and most informed observers believe that the only plausible source for such revenues is a federal Value ...


Between Formulary Apportionment And The Oecd Guidelines: A Proposal For Reconciliation, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah May 2009

Between Formulary Apportionment And The Oecd Guidelines: A Proposal For Reconciliation, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

While there have been few decided cases under the 1995 Transfer Pricing regulations and the OECD Guidelines, it is clear by now that the transfer pricing problem is as bad as it ever was. That is why my co-authors Kimberly Clausing and Michael Durst and I have recently re-proposed adopting Formulary Apportionment (FA). However, it is clear from the reactions we received that it is unlikely we will persuade advocates of the ALS and in particular the OECD that FA is the way forward (although this may change if the Obama Administration were to press the issue, or if the ...


Structuring A Us Federal Vat, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah May 2009

Structuring A Us Federal Vat, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

On 18 and 19 February 2009, the American Tax Policy Institute (ATPI) sponsored a conference in Washington, DC, on "Structuring a Federal VAT: Design and Coordination Issues." The conference was co-organized by Charles E. McLure, Jr. of Stanford University and the present writer, and featured many of the world's leading VAT experts from academia, government, and the private sector.

The purpose of the conference was to lay the ground for a potential future adoption of a federal VAT in the United States by discussing some of the technical issues related to two broad topics: Firstly, how should such a ...


Securities Class Actions Move North: A Doctrinal And Empirical Analysis Of Securities Class Actions In Canada, Adam C. Pritchard, Janis P. Sarra May 2009

Securities Class Actions Move North: A Doctrinal And Empirical Analysis Of Securities Class Actions In Canada, Adam C. Pritchard, Janis P. Sarra

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

A number of Canadian provinces recently have adopted legislation providing shareholders with a claim for secondary market fraud. Although the legislation has some similarities to the “fraud on the market” class action found in the United States, the laws have some important differences. This article compares securities class actions in Canada and the United States, highlighting the differences between the two regimes that are likely to have important strategic consequences for class action attorneys and issuers. The article also collects and analyzes data on the securities class actions that have been filed to date against Canadian issuers in both Canada ...


London As Delaware?, Adam C. Pritchard May 2009

London As Delaware?, Adam C. Pritchard

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

Regulatory competition has long driven the path of corporate law in the federal system of the United States. Now, jurisdictional competition has spread to exchange listings. New York took an early lead in that competition in the 1990s, but has now been overtaken by London. Can London prevail in the competition for stock listings in the long term? This essay explores that question through the insights offered by Delaware’s dominance in the market for corporate listings. Delaware has prevailed by offering corporate directors a predictable body of that credibly shields directors from the vagaries of political backlash in times ...


The Obama International Tax Plan: A Major Step Forward, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah May 2009

The Obama International Tax Plan: A Major Step Forward, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

On May 4, 2009, President Obama in person introduced a set of proposals to reform U.S. international taxation that are the most significant advance toward preserving the income tax on cross-border transactions since the enactment of Subpart F by the Kennedy Administration in 1962. In essence, the Obama proposals (the “Obama Plan”) introduce a 21st Century version of the vision begun by Thomas Adams in 1918 and continued by Stanley Surrey in 1961: A world in which source and residence taxation are coordinated so as to achieve the underlying goals of the international tax regime. As I have explained ...


Evolutionary Theory And The Origin Of Property Rights, James E. Krier Apr 2009

Evolutionary Theory And The Origin Of Property Rights, James E. Krier

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

Legal scholars have never settled on a satisfactory account of the evolution of property rights. The touchstone for virtually all discussion, Harold Demsetz’s Toward a Theory of Property Rights, has a number of well-known (and not so well-known) shortcomings, perhaps because it was never intended to be taken as an evolutionary explanation in the first place. There is, in principle at least, a pretty straightforward fix for the sort of evolutionary approach pursued by followers of Demsetz, but even then that approach – call it the conventional approach – fails to account for very early property rights, right at the genesis ...


Do Individual Investors Affect Share Price Accuracy? Some Preliminary Evidence, Alicia Davis Evans Apr 2009

Do Individual Investors Affect Share Price Accuracy? Some Preliminary Evidence, Alicia Davis Evans

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

A common belief is that individual investors are noise traders that distort stock prices. Because accurate share prices are important for economic functioning, the market effect of retail investors has significant regulatory implications. This paper, employing a new NYSE retail trading data set and the R2 metric of share price informedness, contributes to the debate by demonstrating that as the proportion of trading by individual investors increases, the R2 of firms decreases. Adherents of the R2 methodology hold that lower R2's imply more accurate stock prices. The results of an instrumental variable estimation suggest that this relationship is a ...


Low Probability/High Consequence Events: Dilemmas Of Damage Compensation, Richard O. Lempert Apr 2009

Low Probability/High Consequence Events: Dilemmas Of Damage Compensation, Richard O. Lempert

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

This article was prepared for a Clifford Symposium which challenged paper writers to imagine how our system of tort compensation might look in the year 2020. This paper responds to an aspect of the general challenge: to imagine a tort recovery system which would deal adequately with rare and catastrophic events. To get a handle on this problem, the paper looks closely at how the legal system compensated damages attendant on four recent events that might be considered “rare and catastrophic” – Three Mile Island, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the Exxon Valdez oil spill. In no case did the system ...


A New Era Of Tax Enforcement: From 'Big Stick' To Responsive Regulation, Sagit Leviner Feb 2009

A New Era Of Tax Enforcement: From 'Big Stick' To Responsive Regulation, Sagit Leviner

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

This Article explores the economics of crime and compliance as the dominant approach to U.S. tax enforcement of the past three and a half decades. It evaluates the key advantages and disadvantages of the economic model as well as its application to tax. The Article then addresses the multiplicity of taxpayer behavior and the need and prospect of balancing the economically conceived methods of detection and punishment against other, more cooperative, means and developing a broader approach to tax enforcement more generally. The Article explores responsive regulation as a case study for an alternative method to tax enforcement that ...


Of Coase, Calabresi, And Optimal Tax Liability, Kyle D. Logue, Joel B. Slemrod Jan 2009

Of Coase, Calabresi, And Optimal Tax Liability, Kyle D. Logue, Joel B. Slemrod

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

The Coase Theorem and the vast literature it inspired explore two basic questions: to whom should responsibility for external harms be assigned and how will that assignment matter. Building on the Coasean insight in the torts context, Guido Calabresi observed that the assignment of tort liability can indeed matter from an efficiency perspective and should, under certain assumptions, be assigned to the “cheapest cost avoider.” This article applies a similar Coasean/Calabresian framework to a related (though not identical) set of questions in the tax context: To whom should the responsibility for remitting taxes be assigned and when and how ...


Attorneys As Arbitrators, Stephen Choi, Jill Fisch, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2009

Attorneys As Arbitrators, Stephen Choi, Jill Fisch, Adam C. Pritchard

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

We study the role of attorneys as arbitrators in securities arbitration conducted by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD, n/k/a FINRA), using a dataset of 422 randomly selected arbitrators and their 6724 arbitration awards from 1992 to 2006. We find that arbitrators who also represent brokerage firms or brokers in other arbitrations award significantly less compensation to investor-claimants than other arbitrators. We find no significant effect for attorney-arbitrators who represent investors or both investors and brokerage firms. The relation between representing brokerage firms and arbitration awards remains significant even when we control for political outlook. We report ...


Allocating Business Profits For Tax Purposes: A Proposal To Adopt A Formulary Profit Split, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Kimberly A. Clausing, Michael C. Durst Dec 2008

Allocating Business Profits For Tax Purposes: A Proposal To Adopt A Formulary Profit Split, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Kimberly A. Clausing, Michael C. Durst

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

The current system of taxing the income of multinational firms in the United States is flawed across multiple dimensions. The system provides an artificial tax incentive to earn income in low-tax countries, rewards aggressive tax planning, and is not compatible with any common metrics of efficiency. The U.S. system is also notoriously complex; observers are nearly unanimous in lamenting the heavy compliance burdens and the impracticality of coherent enforcement. Further, despite a corporate tax rate one standard deviation above that of other OECD countries, the U.S. corporate tax system raises relatively little revenue, due in part to the ...


The Evolution Of Property Rights: A Synthetic Overview, James E. Krier Nov 2008

The Evolution Of Property Rights: A Synthetic Overview, James E. Krier

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

In this paper I review, extend, and critique two contrasting approaches to the evolution of property rights. The legal literature on the subject is dominated by a conventional approach, which holds a virtual monopoly despite its many shortcomings, and the literature neglects an alternative approach, despite its many virtues (including, but not limited to, the virtue of responding to many of the conventional approach’s deficiencies). The paper provides an overview of both approaches, including a brief intellectual history of each – and should thus inform readers without specialized knowledge of the subject but nevertheless interested in it – and aims among ...


The Resilience Of Law, Joseph Vining Sep 2008

The Resilience Of Law, Joseph Vining

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

The development of "law and economics" over the last half-century has expanded and reinforced a perception among academic lawyers that law itself is a social science. During the same period social science has moved closer to the discipline of natural science and the presuppositions and methods of its thought and work. This essay explores why law is not and cannot be a social science, and why there are grounds for hope in a future for democracy grounded in the rule of law.


China, Business Law, And Finance -- Accession To The World Trade Organization, Joseph Vining Sep 2008

China, Business Law, And Finance -- Accession To The World Trade Organization, Joseph Vining

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

China's entry into the world economy will affect not just how we act but how we think. It will affect especially what "business," "business law," and "business corporation" come to mean both in a transnational setting and in American law. The nature of American business law today still stands in the way of a wholly profit-maximizing approach to law or the world in general. But there is strong pressure, consistent with a general tendency in Western thought, to make business and corporate decision-making entirely manipulative and calculating and to eliminate the force of human value from it. This Youde ...


The Oecd Harmful Tax Competition Report: A 10th Anniversary Retrospective, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Aug 2008

The Oecd Harmful Tax Competition Report: A 10th Anniversary Retrospective, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

Ten years ago the OECD published its report on Harmful Tax Competition: An Emerging Global Issue. This was followed by a series of concrete measures designed to limit some forms of harmful tax competition, such as preferential regimes in OECD countries and offshore tax havens. The OECD initiative has met considerable resistance and in some ways has fallen short of its goals. Nevertheless, this paper will argue that it has been a worthwhile effort and has achieved some measure of success. The paper will then go on to outline some future directions for the project.


Back To The Future? The Potential Revival Of Territoriality, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jul 2008

Back To The Future? The Potential Revival Of Territoriality, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

Until 1993, the United States led the rest of the developed world in strengthening residence-based world-wide corporate and individual income taxation. However, since 1994 this trend seems to have been reversed, at least in part, and similar developments are taking place overseas (e.g., in France and the UK). Thus, there seems to be a trend to reduce the scope of residence jurisdiction, while increasing the emphasis on source jurisdiction. If this trend continues, it seems likely that both traditional territorial countries like France and traditional world-wide countries like to UK and the US would move toward territoriality and decrease ...


Corporate Governance, Enforcement, And Firm Value: Evidence From India, Dhammika Dharmapala, Vikramaditya Khanna Mar 2008

Corporate Governance, Enforcement, And Firm Value: Evidence From India, Dhammika Dharmapala, Vikramaditya Khanna

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

This paper analyzes the effects of corporate governance reforms and enforcement on stock market development and firm value, using a sequence of corporate governance reforms in India. Our results, taken together, present a strong case for a causal effect of the reforms on firm value, and also underscore the importance of enforcement. The reforms (referred to as Clause 49 of the listing agreement) were phased in over the period 2000-2003. A large number of firms were completely exempt from the new rules, and the complex criteria for the application of Clause 49 created considerable overlap in the characteristics of affected ...


Hustle And Flow: A Social Network Analysis Of The American Federal Judiciary, Daniel Martin Katz, Derek Stafford Mar 2008

Hustle And Flow: A Social Network Analysis Of The American Federal Judiciary, Daniel Martin Katz, Derek Stafford

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

Scholars have long asserted that social structure is an important feature of a variety of societal institutions. As part of a larger effort to develop a fully integrated model of judicial decision making, we argue that social structure—operationalized as the professional and social connections between judicial actors—partially directs outcomes in the hierarchical federal judiciary.

Since different social structures impose dissimilar consequences upon outputs, the precursor to evaluating the doctrinal consequences that a given social structure imposes is a descriptive effort to characterize its nature. Given the difficulty associated with obtaining appropriate data for federal judges, it is necessary ...


Accredited Indians: Increasing The Flow Of Private Equity Into Indian Country As A Domestic Emerging Market, Gavin Clarkson Mar 2008

Accredited Indians: Increasing The Flow Of Private Equity Into Indian Country As A Domestic Emerging Market, Gavin Clarkson

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

Indian Country is America’s domestic emerging market, and as in a number of emerging markets, many successful businesses in Indian Country are starving for expansion capital. The US Treasury estimates that the private equity deficit in Indian Country is $44 billion. While the handful of wealthier tribes might be logical investors in private equity funds deploying capital in Indian Country, the existing securities laws present a significant impediment. In particular, Regulation D of the Securities Act of 1933 does not treat tribes as “accredited investors,” thus denying those tribes the ability to participate in the private equity market. Since ...


What Explains Insider Trading Restrictions? International Evidence On The Political Economy Of Insider Trading Regulation, Laura N. Beny Jan 2008

What Explains Insider Trading Restrictions? International Evidence On The Political Economy Of Insider Trading Regulation, Laura N. Beny

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

This article investigates the determinants of insider trading regulation across countries. The article presents a political economy analysis of such regulation that takes into account both private (distributional) and public (economic efficiency) considerations. The model cannot be tested directly because the relevant private preferences and social costs are unobservable. However, existing theories of capital market development suggest that various observable social factors can explain the diversity of insider trading policies across countries. In turn, these social factors should reveal the underlying preferences and social costs motivating such regulation.

The main finding, based on data from a cross section of countries ...


Do Delaware Ceos Get Fired?, Murali Jagannathan, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2008

Do Delaware Ceos Get Fired?, Murali Jagannathan, Adam C. Pritchard

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

Critics have charged that state competition in corporate law, which Delaware dominates, leads to a “race to the bottom” making management unaccountable. One metric of management accountability is forced CEO turnover, which we use to test the race to the bottom hypothesis. We compare California firms that choose to incorporate in California – the state with arguably the most restrictive corporate law rules – with those that incorporate in Delaware. We show that aspects of Delaware law attract firms that plan to grow through merger or acquisition and are vulnerable to shareholder lawsuits. We also document differences in corporate governance that correlate ...


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 ...


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 ...


The Investor Compensation Fund, Alicia Davis Evans Nov 2007

The Investor Compensation Fund, Alicia Davis Evans

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

The prevailing view among securities regulation scholars is that compensating victims of secondary market securities fraud is inefficient. As the theory goes, diversified investors are as likely to be on the gaining side of a transaction tainted by fraud as the losing side. Therefore, such investors should have no expected net losses from fraud because their expected losses will be matched by expected gains. This Article argues that this view is flawed; even diversified investors can suffer substantial losses from fraud, presenting a compelling case for compensation.

The interest in compensation, however, should be advanced by better means than are ...


Private Regulation Of Insider Trading In The Shadow Of Lax Public Enforcement (And A Strong Neighbor): Evidence From Canadian Firms, Anita I. Anand, Laura N. Beny Nov 2007

Private Regulation Of Insider Trading In The Shadow Of Lax Public Enforcement (And A Strong Neighbor): Evidence From Canadian Firms, Anita I. Anand, Laura N. Beny

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

Few studies have examined firms’ voluntary self-regulation of insider trading. In this article, we investigate the characteristics of Canadian firms that voluntarily adopt policies restricting trading by their insiders when they are already subject to insider trading laws. We hypothesize that certain firm-specific characteristics -- such as larger size, higher market-to-book ratio, greater firm-specific uncertainty, the presence of controlling shareholders, and cross-listing into the United States where insider trading laws are more vigorously enforced -- are positively related to a firm's propensity to adopt an insider trading policy (ITP), because insider trading is likely to be more costly for firms with ...