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Full-Text Articles in Law

Administrative Law In The Automated State, Cary Coglianese Apr 2021

Administrative Law In The Automated State, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In the future, administrative agencies will rely increasingly on digital automation powered by machine learning algorithms. Can U.S. administrative law accommodate such a future? Not only might a highly automated state readily meet longstanding administrative law principles, but the responsible use of machine learning algorithms might perform even better than the status quo in terms of fulfilling administrative law’s core values of expert decision-making and democratic accountability. Algorithmic governance clearly promises more accurate, data-driven decisions. Moreover, due to their mathematical properties, algorithms might well prove to be more faithful agents of democratic institutions. Yet even if an automated ...


Environmental Soft Law As A Governance Strategy, Cary Coglianese Jan 2021

Environmental Soft Law As A Governance Strategy, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Soft law governance relies on nongovernmental institutions that establish and implement voluntary standards. Compared with traditional hard law solutions to societal and economic problems, soft law alternatives promise to be more politically feasible to establish and then easier to adapt in the face of changing circumstances. They may also seem more likely to be flexible in what they demand of targeted businesses and other entities. But can soft law actually work to solve major problems? This Article considers the value of soft law governance through the lens of three major voluntary, nongovernmental initiatives that address environmental concerns: (1) ISO 14001 ...


Deploying Machine Learning For A Sustainable Future, Cary Coglianese May 2020

Deploying Machine Learning For A Sustainable Future, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

To meet the environmental challenges of a warming planet and an increasingly complex, high tech economy, government must become smarter about how it makes policies and deploys its limited resources. It specifically needs to build a robust capacity to analyze large volumes of environmental and economic data by using machine-learning algorithms to improve regulatory oversight, monitoring, and decision-making. Three challenges can be expected to drive the need for algorithmic environmental governance: more problems, less funding, and growing public demands. This paper explains why algorithmic governance will prove pivotal in meeting these challenges, but it also presents four likely obstacles that ...


Power And Statistical Significance In Securities Fraud Litigation, Jill E. Fisch, Jonah B. Gelbach Feb 2020

Power And Statistical Significance In Securities Fraud Litigation, Jill E. Fisch, Jonah B. Gelbach

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Event studies, a half-century-old approach to measuring the effect of events on stock prices, are now ubiquitous in securities fraud litigation. In determining whether the event study demonstrates a price effect, expert witnesses typically base their conclusion on whether the results are statistically significant at the 95% confidence level, a threshold that is drawn from the academic literature. As a positive matter, this represents a disconnect with legal standards of proof. As a normative matter, it may reduce enforcement of fraud claims because litigation event studies typically involve quite low statistical power even for large-scale frauds.

This paper, written for ...


Regulation Of Algorithmic Tools In The United States, Christopher S. Yoo, Alicia Lai Jan 2020

Regulation Of Algorithmic Tools In The United States, Christopher S. Yoo, Alicia Lai

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Policymakers in the United States have just begun to address regulation of artificial intelligence technologies in recent years, gaining momentum through calls for additional research funding, piece-meal guidance, proposals, and legislation at all levels of government. This Article provides an overview of high-level federal initiatives for general artificial intelligence (AI) applications set forth by the U.S. president and responding agencies, early indications from the incoming Biden Administration, targeted federal initiatives for sector-specific AI applications, pending federal legislative proposals, and state and local initiatives. The regulation of the algorithmic ecosystem will continue to evolve as the United States continues to ...


Transactional Scripts In Contract Stacks, Shaanan Cohney, David A. Hoffman Jan 2020

Transactional Scripts In Contract Stacks, Shaanan Cohney, David A. Hoffman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Deals accomplished through software persistently residing on computer networks—sometimes called smart contracts, but better termed transactional scripts—embody a potentially revolutionary contracting innovation. Ours is the first precise account in the legal literature of how such scripts are created, and when they produce errors of legal significance.

Scripts’ most celebrated use case is for transactions operating exclusively on public, permissionless, blockchains: such exchanges eliminate the need for trusted intermediaries and seem to permit parties to commit ex ante to automated performance. But public transactional scripts are costly both to develop and execute, with significant fees imposed for data storage ...


On Environmental, Climate Change & National Security Law, Mark P. Nevitt Sep 2019

On Environmental, Climate Change & National Security Law, Mark P. Nevitt

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article offers a new way to think about climate change. Two new climate change assessments — the 2018 Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA) and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel’s Special Report on Climate Change — prominently highlight climate change’s multifaceted national security risks. Indeed, not only is climate change a “super wicked” environmental problem, it also accelerates existing national security threats, acting as both a “threat accelerant” and “catalyst for conflict.” Further, climate change increases the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events while threatening nations’ territorial integrity and sovereignty through rising sea levels. It causes both internal displacement ...


Making Sustainability Disclosure Sustainable, Jill E. Fisch Apr 2019

Making Sustainability Disclosure Sustainable, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Sustainability is receiving increasing attention from issuers, investors and regulators. The desire to understand issuer sustainability practices and their relationship to economic performance has resulted in a proliferation of sustainability disclosure regimes and standards. The range of approaches to disclosure, however, limit the comparability and reliability of the information disclosed. The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) has solicited comment on whether to require expanded sustainability disclosures in issuer’s periodic financial reporting, and investors have communicated broad-based support for such expanded disclosures, but, to date, the SEC has not required general sustainability disclosure.

This Article argues that claims about the relationship ...


Lowering Legal Barriers To Rpki Adoption, Christopher S. Yoo, David A. Wishnick Jan 2019

Lowering Legal Barriers To Rpki Adoption, Christopher S. Yoo, David A. Wishnick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Across the Internet, mistaken and malicious routing announcements impose significant costs on users and network operators. To make routing announcements more reliable and secure, Internet coordination bodies have encouraged network operators to adopt the Resource Public Key Infrastructure (“RPKI”) framework. Despite this encouragement, RPKI’s adoption rates are low, especially in North America.

This report presents the results of a year-long investigation into the hypothesis—widespread within the network operator community—that legal issues pose barriers to RPKI adoption and are one cause of the disparities between North America and other regions of the world. On the basis of interviews ...


Paul Baran, Network Theory, And The Past, Present, And Future Of Internet, Christopher S. Yoo Dec 2018

Paul Baran, Network Theory, And The Past, Present, And Future Of Internet, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Paul Baran’s seminal 1964 article “On Distributed Communications Networks” that first proposed packet switching also advanced an underappreciated vision of network architecture: a lattice-like, distributed network, in which each node of the Internet would be homogeneous and equal in status to all other nodes. Scholars who have subsequently embraced the concept of a lattice-like network approach have largely overlooked the extent to which it is both inconsistent with network theory (associated with the work of Duncan Watts and Albert-László Barabási), which emphasizes the importance of short cuts and hubs in enabling networks to scale, and the actual way, the ...


The Logic And Limits Of Event Studies In Securities Fraud Litigation, Jill E. Fisch, Jonah B. Gelbach, Jonathan Klick Jan 2018

The Logic And Limits Of Event Studies In Securities Fraud Litigation, Jill E. Fisch, Jonah B. Gelbach, Jonathan Klick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Event studies have become increasingly important in securities fraud litigation after the Supreme Court’s decision in Halliburton II. Litigants have used event study methodology, which empirically analyzes the relationship between the disclosure of corporate information and the issuer’s stock price, to provide evidence in the evaluation of key elements of federal securities fraud, including materiality, reliance, causation, and damages. As the use of event studies grows and they increasingly serve a gatekeeping function in determining whether litigation will proceed beyond a preliminary stage, it will be critical for courts to use them correctly.

This Article explores an array ...


Error Costs, Legal Standards Of Proof And Statistical Significance, Michelle Burtis, Jonah B. Gelbach, Bruce H. Kobayashi Apr 2017

Error Costs, Legal Standards Of Proof And Statistical Significance, Michelle Burtis, Jonah B. Gelbach, Bruce H. Kobayashi

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The relationship between legal standards of proof and thresholds of statistical significance is a well-known and studied phenomena in the academic literature. Moreover, the distinction between the two has been recognized in law. For example, in Matrix v. Siracusano, the Court unanimously rejected the petitioner’s argument that the issue of materiality in a securities class action can be defined by the presence or absence of a statistically significant effect. However, in other contexts, thresholds based on fixed significance levels imported from academic settings continue to be used as a legal standard of proof. Our positive analysis demonstrates how a ...


The Reduced Form Of Litigation Models And The Plaintiff's Win Rate, Jonah B. Gelbach Sep 2016

The Reduced Form Of Litigation Models And The Plaintiff's Win Rate, Jonah B. Gelbach

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this paper I introduce what I call the reduced form approach to studying the plaintiff's win rate in litigation selection models. A reduced form comprises a joint distribution of plaintiff's and defendant's beliefs concerning the probability that the plaintiff would win in the event a dispute were litigated; a conditional win rate function that tells us the actual probability of a plaintiff win in the event of litigation, given the parties' subjective beliefs; and a litigation rule that provides the probability that a case will be litigated given the two parties' beliefs. I show how models ...


Antitrust And Information Technologies, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Mar 2016

Antitrust And Information Technologies, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Technological change strongly affects the use of information to facilitate anticompetitive practices. The effects result mainly from digitization and the many products and processes that it enables. These technologies of information also account for a significant portion of the difficulties that antitrust law encounters when its addresses intellectual property rights. In addition, changes in the technologies of information affect the structures of certain products, in the process either increasing or decreasing the potential for competitive harm.

For example, digital technology affects the way firms exercise market power, but it also imposes serious measurement difficulties. The digital revolution has occurred in ...


Wireless Network Neutrality: Technological Challenges And Policy Implications, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2016

Wireless Network Neutrality: Technological Challenges And Policy Implications, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

One key aspect of the debate over network neutrality has been whether and how network neutrality should apply to wireless networks. The existing commentary has focused on the economics of wireless network neutrality, but to date a detailed analysis of how the technical aspects of wireless networks affect the implementation of network neutrality has yet to appear in the literature. As an initial matter, bad handoffs, local congestion, and the physics of wave propagation make wireless broadband networks significantly less reliable than fixed broadband networks. These technical differences require the network to manage dropped packets and congestion in a way ...


Moore’S Law, Metcalfe’S Law, And The Theory Of Optimal Interoperability, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2015

Moore’S Law, Metcalfe’S Law, And The Theory Of Optimal Interoperability, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Many observers attribute the Internet’s success to two principles: Moore’s Law and Metcalfe’s Law. These precepts are often cited to support claims that larger networks are inevitably more valuable and that costs in a digital environment always decrease. This Article offers both a systematic description of both laws and then challenges the conventional wisdom by exploring their conceptual limitations. It also explores how alternative mechanisms, such as gateways and competition, can permit the realization benefits typically attributed to Moore’s Law and Metcalfe’s Law without requiring increases in network size.


Can We Learn Anything About Pleading Changes From Existing Data?, Jonah B. Gelbach Jan 2015

Can We Learn Anything About Pleading Changes From Existing Data?, Jonah B. Gelbach

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In light of the gateway role that the pleading standard can play in our civil litigation system, measuring the empirical effects of pleading policy changes embodied in the Supreme Court's controversial Twombly and Iqbal cases is important. In my earlier paper, Locking the Doors to Discovery, I argued that in doing so, special care is required in formulating the object of empirical study. Taking party behavior seriously, as Locking the Doors does, leads to empirical results suggesting that Twombly and Iqbal have had substantial effects among cases that face Rule 12(b)(6) motions post-Iqbal. This paper responds ...


Competition Policy And The Technologies Of Information, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jun 2014

Competition Policy And The Technologies Of Information, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

When we speak about information and competition policy we are usually thinking about oral or written communications that have an anticompetitive potential, and mainly in the context of collusion of exclusionary threats. These are important topics. Indeed, among the most difficult problems that competition policy has had to confront over the years is understanding communications that can be construed as either threats to exclude or as offers to collude or facilitators of collusion.

My topic here, however, is the relationship between information technologies and competition policy. Technological change can both induce and undermine the use of information to facilitate anticompetitive ...


Expert Mining And Required Disclosure, Jonah B. Gelbach Jan 2014

Expert Mining And Required Disclosure, Jonah B. Gelbach

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


An Empirical Analysis Of Cost Recovery In Superfund Cases: Implications For Brownfields And Joint And Several Liability, Howard F. Chang, Hilary Sigman Jan 2014

An Empirical Analysis Of Cost Recovery In Superfund Cases: Implications For Brownfields And Joint And Several Liability, Howard F. Chang, Hilary Sigman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Economic theory developed in the prior literature indicates that under the joint and several liability imposed by the federal Superfund statute, the government should recover more of its costs of cleaning up contaminated sites than it would under nonjoint liability, and the amount recovered should increase with the number of defendants and with the independence among defendants in trial outcomes. We test these predictions empirically using data on outcomes in federal Superfund cases. Theory also suggests that this increase in the amount recovered may discourage the sale and redevelopment of potentially contaminated sites (or “brownfields”). We find the increase to ...


Competition In Information Technologies: Standards-Essential Patents, Non-Practicing Entities And Frand Bidding, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Oct 2012

Competition In Information Technologies: Standards-Essential Patents, Non-Practicing Entities And Frand Bidding, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Standard Setting is omnipresent in networked information technologies. Virtually every cellular phone, computer, digital camera or similar device contains technologies governed by a collaboratively developed standard. If these technologies are to perform competitively, the processes by which standards are developed and implemented must be competitive. In this case attaining competitive results requires a mixture of antitrust and non-antitrust legal tools.

FRAND refers to a firm’s ex ante commitment to make its technology available at a “fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory royalty.” The FRAND commitment results from bidding to have one’s own technology selected as a standard. Typically the FRAND ...


Enhancing Public Access To Online Rulemaking Information, Cary Coglianese Oct 2012

Enhancing Public Access To Online Rulemaking Information, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

One of the most significant powers exercised by federal agencies is their power to make rules. Given the importance of agency rulemaking, the process by which agencies develop rules has long been subject to procedural requirements aiming to advance democratic values of openness and public participation. With the advent of the digital age, government agencies have engaged in increasing efforts to make rulemaking information available online as well as to elicit public participation via electronic means of communication. How successful are these efforts? How might they be improved? In this article, I investigate agencies’ efforts to make rulemaking information available ...


Cloud Computing: Architectural And Policy Implications, Christopher S. Yoo Apr 2011

Cloud Computing: Architectural And Policy Implications, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Cloud computing has emerged as perhaps the hottest development in information technology. Despite all of the attention that it has garnered, existing analyses focus almost exclusively on the issues that surround data privacy without exploring cloud computing’s architectural and policy implications. This article offers an initial exploratory analysis in that direction. It begins by introducing key cloud computing concepts, such as service-oriented architectures, thin clients, and virtualization, and discusses the leading delivery models and deployment strategies that are being pursued by cloud computing providers. It next analyzes the economics of cloud computing in terms of reducing costs, transforming capital ...


The Effect Of Allowing Pollution Offsets With Imperfect Enforcement, Hilary A. Sigman, Howard F. Chang Sep 2010

The Effect Of Allowing Pollution Offsets With Imperfect Enforcement, Hilary A. Sigman, Howard F. Chang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Several pollution control regimes, including climate change policies, allow polluters in one sector subject to an emissions cap to offset excessive emissions in that sector with pollution abatement in another sector. The government may often find it more costly to verify offset claims than to verify compliance with emissions caps, and concerns about difficulties in enforcement may lead regulators to restrict the use of offsets. In this paper, we demonstrate that allowing offsets may increase pollution abatement and reduce illegal pollution, even if the government has a fixed enforcement budget. We explore the circumstances that may make it preferable to ...


Global Warming Advocacy Science: A Cross Examination, Jason S. Johnston May 2010

Global Warming Advocacy Science: A Cross Examination, Jason S. Johnston

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Legal scholarship has come to accept as true the various pronouncements of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other scientists who have been active in the movement for greenhouse gas (ghg) emission reductions to combat global warming. The only criticism that legal scholars have had of the story told by this group of activist scientists – what may be called the climate establishment – is that it is too conservative in not paying enough attention to possible catastrophic harm from potentially very high temperature increases. This paper departs from such faith in the climate establishment by comparing the picture of ...


The Environment And Climate Change: Is International Migration Part Of The Problem Or Part Of The Solution?, Howard F. Chang Jan 2009

The Environment And Climate Change: Is International Migration Part Of The Problem Or Part Of The Solution?, Howard F. Chang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Problems Of Equity And Efficiency In The Design Of International Greenhouse Gas Cap-And-Trade Schemes, Jason S. Johnston Jan 2009

Problems Of Equity And Efficiency In The Design Of International Greenhouse Gas Cap-And-Trade Schemes, Jason S. Johnston

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article argues that international greenhouse gas (GHG) cap-and-trade schemes suffer from inherent problems of enforceability and verifiability that both cause significant inefficiencies and create inevitable tradeoffs between equity and efficiency. A standard result in the economic analysis of international GHG cap and trade schemes is that an allocation of initial permits that favors poor, developing countries (making such countries net sellers in equilibrium) may be necessary not only to further redistributive goals but also the efficiency of the GHG cap and trade scheme. This coincidence of equity and efficiency is, however, unlikely to be realized under more realistic assumptions ...


Bounded Rationality And Legal Scholarship, Matthew D. Adler Feb 2008

Bounded Rationality And Legal Scholarship, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Decision theory seems to offer a very attractive normative framework for individual and social choice under uncertainty. The decisionmaker should think of her choice situation, at any given moment, in terms of a set of possible outcomes, that is, specifications of the possible consequences of choice, described in light of the decisionmaker’s goals; a set of possible actions; and a "state set" consisting of possible prior "states of the world." It is this framework for choice which provides the foundation for expected utility theory, as demonstrated in the work of Leonard Savage. Problems arise, however, when the decisionmaker is ...


Reasonable Emissions Of Greenhouse Gases: Efficient Abatement For A Stock Pollutant, Howard F. Chang Jan 2007

Reasonable Emissions Of Greenhouse Gases: Efficient Abatement For A Stock Pollutant, Howard F. Chang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Against 'Individual Risk': A Sympathetic Critique Of Risk Assessment, Matthew D. Adler Mar 2005

Against 'Individual Risk': A Sympathetic Critique Of Risk Assessment, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

"Individual risk" currently plays a major role in risk assessment and in the regulatory practices of the health and safety agencies that employ risk assessment, such as EPA, FDA, OSHA, NRC, CPSC, and others. Risk assessors use the term "population risk" to mean the number of deaths caused by some hazard. By contrast, "individual risk" is the incremental probability of death that the hazard imposes on some particular person. Regulatory decision procedures keyed to individual risk are widespread. This is true both for the regulation of toxic chemicals (the heartland of risk assessment), and for other health hazards, such as ...