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Purpose Proposals, Jill E. Fisch Sep 2022

Purpose Proposals, Jill E. Fisch

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Repurposing the corporation is the hot issue in corporate governance. Commentators, investors and increasingly issuers, maintain that corporations should shift their focus from maximizing profits for shareholders to generating value for a more expansive group of stakeholders. Corporations are also being called upon to address societal concerns – from climate change and voting rights to racial justice and wealth inequality.

The shareholder proposal rule, Rule 14a–8, offers one potential tool for repurposing the corporation. This Article describes the introduction of innovative proposals seeking to formalize corporate commitments to stakeholder governance. These “purpose proposals” reflect a new dynamic in the debate …


Selling Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Aug 2022

Selling Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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Antitrust enforcers and its other defenders have never done a good job of selling their field to the public. That is not entirely their fault. Antitrust is inherently technical, and a less engaging discipline to most people than, say, civil rights or criminal law. The more serious problem is that when the general press does talk about antitrust policy it naturally gravitates toward the fringes, both the far right and the far left. Extreme rhetoric makes for better press than the day-to-day operations of a technical enterprise. The extremes are often stated in overdramatized black-and-white terms that avoid the real …


Leases As Forms, David A. Hoffman, Anton Strezhnev Jan 2022

Leases As Forms, David A. Hoffman, Anton Strezhnev

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We offer the first large scale descriptive study of residential leases, based on a dataset of ~170,000 residential leases filed in support of over ~200,000 Philadelphia eviction proceedings from 2005 through 2019. These leases are highly likely to contain unenforceable terms, and their pro-landlord tilt has increased sharply over time. Matching leases with individual tenant characteristics, we show that unlawful terms are surprisingly likely to be associated with more expensive leaseholds in richer, whiter parts of the city. This result is linked to landlords' growing adoption of shared forms, originally created by non-profit landlord associations, and more recently available online …


Stakeholderism, Corporate Purpose, And Credible Commitment, Lisa Fairfax Jan 2022

Stakeholderism, Corporate Purpose, And Credible Commitment, Lisa Fairfax

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One of the most significant recent phenomena in corporate governance is the embrace, by some of the most influential actors in the corporate community, of the view that corporations should be focused on furthering the interests of all corporate stakeholders as well as the broader society. This stakeholder vision of corporate purpose is not new. Instead, it has emerged in cycles throughout corporate law history. However, for much of that history—including recent history—the consensus has been that stakeholderism has not achieved dominance or otherwise significantly influenced corporate behavior. That honor is reserved for the corporate purpose theory that focuses on …


Secured Transactions Law Reform In Japan: Japan Business Credit Project Assessment Of Interviews And Tentative Policy Proposals, Megumi Hara, Kumiko Koens, Charles W. Mooney Jr. Jan 2022

Secured Transactions Law Reform In Japan: Japan Business Credit Project Assessment Of Interviews And Tentative Policy Proposals, Megumi Hara, Kumiko Koens, Charles W. Mooney Jr.

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This article summarizes key findings from the Japan Business Credit Project (JBCP), which involved more than 30 semi-structured interviews conducted in Japan from 2016 through 2018. It was inspired by important and previously unexplored questions concerning secured financing of movables (business equipment and inventory) and claims (receivables)—“asset-based lending” or “ABL.” Why is the use of ABL in Japan so limited? What are the principal obstacles and disincentives to the use of ABL in Japan? The interviews were primarily with staff of banks, but also included those of government officials and regulators, academics, and law practitioners. The article proposes reforms of …


The Deregulation Deception, Cary Coglianese, Natasha Sarin, Stuart Shapiro Jun 2021

The Deregulation Deception, Cary Coglianese, Natasha Sarin, Stuart Shapiro

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President Donald Trump and members of his Administration repeatedly asserted that they had delivered substantial deregulation that fueled positive trends in the U.S. economy prior to the COVID pandemic. Drawing on an original analysis of data on federal regulation from across the Trump Administration’s four years, we show that the Trump Administration actually accomplished much less by way of deregulation than it repeatedly claimed—and much less than many commentators and scholars have believed. In addition, and also contrary to the Administration’s claims, overall economic trends in the pre-pandemic Trump years tended simply to follow economic trends that began years earlier. …


A Public Option For Employer Health Plans, Allison K. Hoffman, Howell E. Jackson, Amy Monahan Feb 2021

A Public Option For Employer Health Plans, Allison K. Hoffman, Howell E. Jackson, Amy Monahan

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Following the 2020 presidential election, health care reform discussions have centered on two competing proposals: Medicare for All and an individual public option (“Medicare for all who want it”). Interestingly, these two proposals take starkly different approaches to employer-provided health coverage, long the bedrock of the U.S. health care system and the stumbling block to many prior reform efforts. Medicare for All abolishes employer-provided coverage, while an individual public option leaves it untouched.

This Article proposes a novel solution that finds a middle ground between these two extremes: an employer public option. In contrast to the more familiar public option …


Internet Connectivity Among Indigenous And Tribal Communities In North America - A Focus On Social And Educational Outcomes, Christopher S. Yoo, Leon Gwaka, Muge Haseki Jan 2021

Internet Connectivity Among Indigenous And Tribal Communities In North America - A Focus On Social And Educational Outcomes, Christopher S. Yoo, Leon Gwaka, Muge Haseki

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Broadband access is an important part of enhancing rural community development, improving the general quality of life. Recent telecommunications stimulus projects in the U.S. and Canada were intended to increase availability of broadband through funding infrastructure investments, largely in rural and remote regions. However, there are various small, remote, and rural communities, who remain unconnected. Connectivity is especially important for indigenous and tribal communities to access opportunities for various public services as they are generally located in remote areas. In 2016, the FCC reported that 41% of U.S. citizens living on tribal lands, and 68% of those in the rural …


The Looming Crisis In Antitrust Economics, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2021

The Looming Crisis In Antitrust Economics, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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As in so many areas of law and politics in the United States, antitrust’s center is at bay. It is besieged by a right wing that wants to limit antitrust even more than it has been limited over the last quarter century. On the left, it faces revisionists who propose significantly greater enforcement.

One thing the two extremes share, however, is denigration of the role of economics in antitrust analysis. On the right, the Supreme Court’s two most recent antitrust decisions at this writing reveal that economic analysis no longer occupies the central role that it once had. On the …


The History And Revival Of The Corporate Purpose Clause, Elizabeth Pollman Jan 2021

The History And Revival Of The Corporate Purpose Clause, Elizabeth Pollman

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The corporate purpose debate is experiencing a renaissance. The contours of the modern debate are relatively well developed and typically focus on whether corporations should pursue shareholder value maximization or broader social aims. A related subject that has received much less scholarly attention, however, is the formal legal mechanism by which a corporation expresses its purpose—the purpose clause of the corporate charter. This Article examines corporate purpose through the evolution of corporate charters. Starting with historic examples ranging from the Dutch East India Company to early American corporations and their modern 21st century parallels, the discussion illuminates how corporate purpose …


Should Corporations Have A Purpose?, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon Jan 2021

Should Corporations Have A Purpose?, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon

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Corporate purpose is the hot topic in corporate governance. Critics are calling for corporations to shift their purpose away from shareholder value as a means of addressing climate change, equity and inclusion, and other social values. We argue that this debate has overlooked the critical predicate questions of whether a corporation should have a purpose at all and, if so, what role it serves.

We start by exploring and rejecting historical, doctrinal, and theoretical bases for corporate purpose. We challenge the premise that purpose can serve a useful function either as a legal constraint on managerial discretion or as a …


Restoration: The Role Stakeholder Governance Must Play In Recreating A Fair And Sustainable American Economy A Reply To Professor Rock, Leo E. Strine Jr. Jan 2021

Restoration: The Role Stakeholder Governance Must Play In Recreating A Fair And Sustainable American Economy A Reply To Professor Rock, Leo E. Strine Jr.

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In his excellent article, For Whom is the Corporation Managed in 2020?: The Debate Over Corporate Purpose, Professor Edward Rock articulates his understanding of the debate over corporate purpose. This reply supports Professor Rock’s depiction of the current state of corporate law in the United States. It also accepts Professor Rock’s contention that finance and law and economics professors tend to equate the value of corporations to society solely with the value of their equity. But, I employ a less academic lens on the current debate about corporate purpose, and am more optimistic about proposals to change our corporate governance …


Understanding The Revenue Potential Of Tax Compliance Investment, Natasha Sarin, Lawrence H. Summers Jul 2020

Understanding The Revenue Potential Of Tax Compliance Investment, Natasha Sarin, Lawrence H. Summers

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In a July 2020 report, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that modest investments in the IRS would generate somewhere between $60 and $100 billion in additional revenue over a decade. This is qualitatively correct. But quantitatively, the revenue potential is much more significant than the CBO report suggests. We highlight five reasons for the CBO’s underestimation: 1) the scale of the investment in the IRS contemplated is modest and far short of sufficient even to return the IRS budget to 2011 levels; 2) the CBO contemplates a limited range of interventions, excluding entirely progress on information reporting and technological advancements; …


Commercial Law Intersections, Giuliano Castellano, Andrea Tosato Apr 2020

Commercial Law Intersections, Giuliano Castellano, Andrea Tosato

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Commercial law is not a single, monolithic entity. It has grown into a dense thicket of subject-specific branches that govern a broad range of transactions and corporate actions. When one of these events falls concurrently within the purview of two or more of these commercial law branches - such as corporate law, intellectual property law, secured transactions law, conduct and prudential regulation - an overlap materializes. We refer to this legal phenomenon as a commercial law intersection (CLI). Some notable examples of transactions that feature CLIs include bank loans secured by shares, supply chain financing arrangements, patent cross-licensing, and blockchain-based …


Lost In Transplantation: Modern Principles Of Secured Transactions Law As Legal Transplants, Charles W. Mooney Jr. Apr 2020

Lost In Transplantation: Modern Principles Of Secured Transactions Law As Legal Transplants, Charles W. Mooney Jr.

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This manuscript will appear as a chapter in a forthcoming edited volume published by Hart Publishing, Secured Transactions Law in Asia: Principles, Perspectives and Reform (Louise Gullifer & Dora Neo eds., forthcoming 2020). It focuses on a set of principles (Modern Principles) that secured transactions law for personal property should follow. These Modern Principles are based on UCC Article 9 and its many progeny, including the UNCITRAL Model Law on Secured Transactions. The chapter situates the Modern principles in the context of the transplantation of law from one legal system to another. It draws in particular on Alan Watson’s pathbreaking …


The Post-Chicago Antitrust Revolution: A Retrospective, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2020

The Post-Chicago Antitrust Revolution: A Retrospective, Christopher S. Yoo

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A symposium examining the contributions of the post-Chicago School provides an appropriate opportunity to offer some thoughts on both the past and the future of antitrust. This afterword reviews the excellent papers with an eye toward appreciating the contributions and limitations of both the Chicago School, in terms of promoting the consumer welfare standard and embracing price theory as the preferred mode of economic analysis, and the post-Chicago School, with its emphasis on game theory and firm-level strategic conduct. It then explores two emerging trends, specifically neo-Brandeisian advocacy for abandoning consumer welfare as the sole goal of antitrust and the …


Frand And Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2020

Frand And Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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This paper considers when a patentee’s violation of a FRAND commitment also violates the antitrust laws. It warns against two extremes. First, is thinking that any violation of a FRAND obligation is an antitrust violation as well. FRAND obligations are contractual, and most breaches of contract do not violate antitrust law. The other extreme is thinking that, because a FRAND violation is a breach of contract, it cannot also be an antitrust violation.

Every antitrust case must consider the market environment in which conduct is to be evaluated. SSOs operated by multiple firms are joint ventures. Antitrust’s role is to …


The Dormant Foreign Commerce Clause After Wynne, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason Jan 2020

The Dormant Foreign Commerce Clause After Wynne, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason

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This Essay surveys dormant foreign Commerce Clause doctrine to determine what limits it places on state taxation of international income, including both income earned by foreigners in a U.S. state and income earned by U.S. residents abroad. The dormant Commerce Clause similarly limits states’ powers to tax interstate and foreign commerce; in particular, it forbids states from discriminating against interstate or international commerce. But there are differences between the interstate and foreign commerce contexts, including differences in the nationality of affected taxpayers and differences in the impact of state taxes on federal tax and foreign-relations goals. Given current Supreme Court …


Whither The Regulatory “War On Coal”? Scapegoats, Saviors, And Stock Market Reactions, Cary Coglianese, Daniel E. Walters Jan 2020

Whither The Regulatory “War On Coal”? Scapegoats, Saviors, And Stock Market Reactions, Cary Coglianese, Daniel E. Walters

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Complaints about excessive economic burdens associated with regulation abound in contemporary political and legal rhetoric. In recent years, perhaps nowhere have these complaints been heard as loudly as in the context of U.S. regulations targeting the use of coal to supply power to the nation’s electricity system, as production levels in the coal industry dropped by nearly half between 2008 and 2016. The coal industry and its political supporters, including the president of the United States, have argued that a suite of air pollution regulations imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the Obama administration seriously undermined coal companies’ …


Framing The Chicago School Of Antitrust Analysis, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Fiona Scott Morton Jan 2020

Framing The Chicago School Of Antitrust Analysis, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Fiona Scott Morton

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The Chicago School of antitrust has benefited from a great deal of law office history, written by admiring advocates rather than more dispassionate observers. This essay attempts a more neutral stance, looking at the ideology, political impulses, and economics that produced the Chicago School of antitrust policy and that account for its durability.

The origins of the Chicago School lie in a strong commitment to libertarianism and nonintervention. Economic models of perfect competition best suited these goals. The early strength of the Chicago School of antitrust was that it provided simple, convincing answers to everything that was wrong with antitrust …


Toward Fair And Sustainable Capitalism: A Comprehensive Proposal To Help American Workers, Restore Fair Gainsharing Between Employees And Shareholders, And Increase American Competitiveness By Reorienting Our Corporate Governance System Toward Sustainable Long-Term Growth And Encouraging Investments In America’S Future, Leo E. Strine Jr. Sep 2019

Toward Fair And Sustainable Capitalism: A Comprehensive Proposal To Help American Workers, Restore Fair Gainsharing Between Employees And Shareholders, And Increase American Competitiveness By Reorienting Our Corporate Governance System Toward Sustainable Long-Term Growth And Encouraging Investments In America’S Future, Leo E. Strine Jr.

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To promote fair and sustainable capitalism and help business and labor work together to build an American economy that works for all, this paper presents a comprehensive proposal to reform the American corporate governance system by aligning the incentives of those who control large U.S. corporations with the interests of working Americans who must put their hard-earned savings in mutual funds in their 401(k) and 529 plans. The proposal would achieve this through a series of measured, coherent changes to current laws and regulations, including: requiring not just operating companies, but institutional investors, to give appropriate consideration to and make …


Capturing Regulatory Agendas?: An Empirical Study Of Industry Use Of Rulemaking Petitions, Daniel Walters Apr 2019

Capturing Regulatory Agendas?: An Empirical Study Of Industry Use Of Rulemaking Petitions, Daniel Walters

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A great deal of skepticism toward administrative agencies stems from the widespread perception that they excessively or even exclusively cater to business interests. From the political right comes the accusation that business interests use regulation to erect barriers to entry that protect profits and stifle competition. From the political left comes the claim that business interests use secretive interactions with agencies to erode and negate beneficial regulatory programs. Regulatory “capture” theory elevates many of these claims to the status of economic law. Despite growing skepticism about capture theory in academic circles, empirical studies of business influence and capture return ambiguous …


The Tcja And The Questionable Incentive To Incorporate, Part 2, Michael S. Knoll Mar 2019

The Tcja And The Questionable Incentive To Incorporate, Part 2, Michael S. Knoll

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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has put the question should a business be organized as a passthrough entity or as a corporation at center stage. The TCJA eliminated much of the tax disadvantage from using the corporate form, but did Congress go so far that it advantaged corporations relative to pass-through entities? Some prominent commentators say yes. They argue that the federal income tax now encourages individual owners of pass-through businesses to restructure their business as subchapter C corporations, and they predict that the TCJA will lead to a cascade of incorporations. The principal driver of the shift …


The Tcja And The Questionable Incentive To Incorporate, Michael S. Knoll Mar 2019

The Tcja And The Questionable Incentive To Incorporate, Michael S. Knoll

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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has put the question should a business be organized as a passthrough entity or as a corporation at center stage. The TCJA eliminated much of the tax disadvantage from using the corporate form, but did Congress go so far that it advantaged corporations relative to pass-through entities? Some prominent commentators say yes. They argue that the federal income tax now encourages individual owners of pass-through businesses to restructure their business as subchapter C corporations, and they predict that the TCJA will lead to a cascade of incorporations. The principal driver of the shift …


Is Antitrust's Consumer Welfare Principle Imperiled?, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2019

Is Antitrust's Consumer Welfare Principle Imperiled?, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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Antitrust’s consumer welfare principle stands for the proposition that antitrust policy should encourage markets to produce output as high as is consistent with sustainable competition, and prices that are accordingly as low. Such a policy does not protect every interest group. For example, it opposes the interests of cartels or other competition-limiting associations who profit from lower output and higher prices. It also runs counter to the interest of less competitive firms that need higher prices in order to survive. Market structure is relevant to antitrust policy, but its importance is contingent rather than absolute – that is, market structure …


Coin-Operated Capitalism, Shaanan Cohney, David A. Hoffman, Jeremy Sklaroff, David A. Wishnick Jan 2019

Coin-Operated Capitalism, Shaanan Cohney, David A. Hoffman, Jeremy Sklaroff, David A. Wishnick

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This Article presents the legal literature’s first detailed analysis of the inner workings of Initial Coin Offerings. We characterize the ICO as an example of financial innovation, placing it in kinship with venture capital contracting, asset securitization, and (obviously) the IPO. We also take the form seriously as an example of technological innovation, where promoters are beginning to effectuate their promises to investors through computer code, rather than traditional contract. To understand the dynamics of this shift, we first collect contracts, “white papers,” and other contract-like documents for the fifty top-grossing ICOs of 2017. We then analyze how such projects’ …


Quasi Governments And Inchoate Law: Berle's Vision Of Limits On Corporate Power, Elizabeth Pollman Jan 2019

Quasi Governments And Inchoate Law: Berle's Vision Of Limits On Corporate Power, Elizabeth Pollman

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In honor of the Berle X Symposium, this essay gives prominence to key writings of the distinguished corporate law scholar Adolf A. Berle, Jr. from the 1950s and 60s. By the early 1950s, Berle had rejoined academic life after years in government service. When he returned to scholarly writing, Berle repeatedly highlighted the problem of economic power in corporations. He wrote about this as both an issue of “bigness” as an absolute matter and relative to particular industries in terms of concentration. He conceded that history had vindicated the late Professor E. Merrick Dodd’s view that directors of large corporations …


Anticompetitive Mergers In Labor Markets, Ioana Marinescu, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2019

Anticompetitive Mergers In Labor Markets, Ioana Marinescu, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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Mergers of competitors are conventionally challenged under the federal antitrust laws when they threaten to lessen competition in some product or service market in which the merging firms sell. Mergers can also injure competition in markets where the firms purchase. Although that principle is widely recognized, very few litigated cases have applied merger law to buyers. This article concerns an even more rarefied subset, and one that has barely been mentioned. Nevertheless, its implications are staggering. Some mergers may be unlawful because they injure competition in the labor market by enabling the post-merger firm anticompetitively to suppress wages or salaries. …


Unlocking Access To Health Care: A Federalist Approach To Reforming Occupational Licensing, Gabriel Scheffler Jan 2019

Unlocking Access To Health Care: A Federalist Approach To Reforming Occupational Licensing, Gabriel Scheffler

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Several features of the existing occupational licensing system impede access to health care without providing appreciable protections for patients. Licensing restrictions prevent health care providers from offering services to the full extent of their competency, obstruct the adoption of telehealth, and deter foreign-trained providers from practicing in the United States. Scholars and policymakers have proposed a number of reforms to this system over the years, but these proposals have had a limited impact for political and institutional reasons.

Still, there are grounds for optimism. In recent years, the federal government has taken a range of initial steps to reform licensing …


Health Care's Market Bureaucracy, Allison K. Hoffman Jan 2019

Health Care's Market Bureaucracy, Allison K. Hoffman

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The last several decades of health law and policy have been built on a foundation of economic theory. This theory supported the proliferation of market-based policies that promised maximum efficiency and minimal bureaucracy. Neither of these promises has been realized. A mounting body of empirical research discussed in this Article makes clear that leading market-based policies are not efficient — they fail to capture what people want. Even more, this Article describes how the struggle to bolster these policies — through constant regulatory, technocratic tinkering that aims to improve the market and the decision-making of consumers in it — has …