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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

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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 Internet …


Whatever Did Happen To The Antitrust Movement?, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2018

Whatever Did Happen To The Antitrust Movement?, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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Antitrust in the United States today is caught between its pursuit of technical rules designed to define and implement defensible economic goals, and increasing calls for a new antitrust “movement.” The goals of this movement have been variously defined as combating industrial concentration, limiting the economic or political power of large firms, correcting the maldistribution of wealth, control of high profits, increasing wages, or protection of small business. High output and low consumer prices are typically unmentioned.

In the 1960s the great policy historian Richard Hofstadter lamented the passing of the antitrust “movement” as one of the “faded passions of …


The Salience Theory Of Consumer Financial Regulation, Natasha Sarin Aug 2018

The Salience Theory Of Consumer Financial Regulation, Natasha Sarin

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Prior to the financial crisis, banks’ fee income was their fastest-growing source of revenue. This revenue was often generated through nefarious bank practices (e.g., ordering overdraft transactions for maximal fees). The crisis focused popular attention on the extent to which current regulatory tools failed consumers in these markets, and policymakers responded: A new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was tasked with monitoring consumer finance products, and some of the earliest post-crisis financial reforms sought to lower consumer costs. This Article is the first to empirically evaluate the success of the consumer finance reform agenda by considering three recent price regulations: a …


Marginal Rates Under The Tcja, Reed Shuldiner Jun 2018

Marginal Rates Under The Tcja, Reed Shuldiner

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In this report, Shuldiner argues that although the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act appears to offer an across-the board reduction in individual marginal tax rates augmented by an additional 20 percent reduction in rates on unincorporated business income, the situation is significantly more complex.


Reflections On Two Years Of P.R.O.M.E.S.A., David A. Skeel Jr. Jun 2018

Reflections On Two Years Of P.R.O.M.E.S.A., David A. Skeel Jr.

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This Essay draws both on my scholarly and on my personal experience as a member of Puerto Rico’s oversight board to assess the first two years of the Board’s existence. I begin in a scholarly mode, by exploring the question of where P.R.O.M.E.S.A., the legislation that created the Board, came from. P.R.O.M.E.S.A.’s core provisions are, I will argue, the product of two historical patterns that have emerged in responses to the financial distress of public entities in the United States. The first dates back to the 1970s crisis in New York City, while the second is much more recent. If …


Regulation And The Marginalist Revolution, Herbert J. Hovenkamp May 2018

Regulation And The Marginalist Revolution, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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The marginalist revolution in economics became the foundation for the modern regulatory State with its “mixed” economy. Marginalism, whose development defines the boundary between classical political economy and neoclassical economics, completely overturned economists’ theory of value. It developed in the late nineteenth century in England, the Continent and the United States. For the classical political economists, value was a function of past averages. One good example is the wage-fund theory, which saw the optimal rate of wages as a function of the firm’s ability to save from previous profits. Another is the theory of corporate finance, which assessed a corporation’s …


Was The Amt Effectively Repealed?, Reed Shuldiner Apr 2018

Was The Amt Effectively Repealed?, Reed Shuldiner

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The individual alternative minimum tax (AMT) was a much disliked feature of the tax law prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Yet, despite repeated promises to repeal the AMT as part of tax reform, the TCJA dropped AMT repeal in favor of increasing the AMT exemption and its phaseout threshold. The question raised by this development is whether the AMT changes should be viewed as yet another stop-gap tweak of the AMT or whether the changes should be viewed as returning the AMT to its roots as a tax on high-income taxpayers using excessive loopholes. In this …


Hipster Antitrust: New Bottles, Same Old W(H)Ine?, Christopher S. Yoo Apr 2018

Hipster Antitrust: New Bottles, Same Old W(H)Ine?, Christopher S. Yoo

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Although the debate over hipster antitrust is often portrayed as something new, experienced observers recognize it as a replay of an old argument that was resolved by the global consensus that antitrust should focus on consumer welfare rather than on the size of firms, the levels of industry concentration, and other considerations. Moreover, the history of the Federal Trade Commission’s Section 5 authority to prevent unfair methods of competition stands as a reminder of the dangers of allowing enforcement policy to be guided by vague and uncertain standards.


Finding The Right Balance In Appraisal Litigation: Deal Price, Deal Process, And Synergies, Lawrence A. Hamermesh, Michael L. Wachter Feb 2018

Finding The Right Balance In Appraisal Litigation: Deal Price, Deal Process, And Synergies, Lawrence A. Hamermesh, Michael L. Wachter

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This article examines the evolution of Delaware appraisal litigation and concludes that recent precedents have created a satisfactory framework in which the remedy is most effective in the case of transactions where there is the greatest reason to question the efficacy of the market for corporate control, and vice versa. We suggest that, in effect, the developing framework invites the courts to accept the deal price as the proper measure of fair value, not because of any presumption that would operate in the absence of proof, but where the proponent of the transaction affirmatively demonstrates that the transaction would survive …


Dual Residents: A Sur-Reply To Zelinsky, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason Jan 2018

Dual Residents: A Sur-Reply To Zelinsky, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason

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In this article, we respond to Professor Zelinsky’s criticism of our arguments regarding the constitutionality of New York’s tax residence rule. We argue that the Supreme Court’s decision in Wynne requires reconsideration of the New York Court of Appeal’s decision in Tamagni.


Federalism Of Personal Finance: State & Federal Retirement Plans, William Birdthistle Jan 2018

Federalism Of Personal Finance: State & Federal Retirement Plans, William Birdthistle

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In this Article, I consider possible approaches that attempt to improve the plans through which millions of Americans tend to their life savings. I begin by considering the inadequacies of our current system of defined contribution accounts and then address two possible alternatives: the first being a federal account universally available to Americans based largely on the model of the Thrift Savings Plan; the second being a system of statebased retirement accounts like those that have already been developed in a handful of states. Though I conclude that a single, federal plan would be superior, either alternative approach would be …


A Critical Examination Of A Third Employment Category For On-Demand Work (In Comparative Perspective), Miriam A. Cherry, Antonio Aloisi Jan 2018

A Critical Examination Of A Third Employment Category For On-Demand Work (In Comparative Perspective), Miriam A. Cherry, Antonio Aloisi

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A number of lawsuits in the United States are challenging the employment classification of workers in the platform economy. Employee status is a crucial gateway in determining entitlement to labor and employment law protections. In response to this uncertainty, some commentators have proposed an “intermediate”, “third,” or “hybrid” category, situated between the categories of “employee” and “independent contractor.”

After investigating the status of platform workers in the United States, the authors provide snapshot summaries of five legal systems that have experimented with implementing a legal tool similar to an intermediate category to cover non-standard workers: Canada, Italy, Spain, Germany, and …


The Modigliani-Miller Theorem At 60: The Long-Overlooked Legal Applications Of Finance’S Foundational Theorem, Michael S. Knoll Jan 2018

The Modigliani-Miller Theorem At 60: The Long-Overlooked Legal Applications Of Finance’S Foundational Theorem, Michael S. Knoll

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2018 marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of Franco Modigliani and Merton Miller’s The Cost of Capital, Corporation Finance, and the Theory of Investment. Widely hailed as the foundation of modern finance, their article, which purports to demonstrate that a firm’s value is independent of its capital structure, is little known by lawyers, including legal academics. That is unfortunate because the Modigliani-Miller capital structure irrelevancy proposition (when inverted) provides a framework that can be extremely useful to legal academics, practicing attorneys and judges.


Progressive Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2018

Progressive Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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Several American political candidates and administrations have both run and served under the “progressive” banner for more than a century, right through the 2016 election season. For the most part these have pursued interventionist antitrust policies, reflecting a belief that markets are fragile and in need of repair, that certain interest groups require greater protection, or in some cases that antitrust policy is an extended arm of regulation. This paper argues that most of this progressive antitrust policy was misconceived, including that reflected in the 2016 antitrust plank of the Democratic Party. The progressive state is best served by a …


Horizontal Mergers, Market Structure, And Burdens Of Proof, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Carl Shapiro Jan 2018

Horizontal Mergers, Market Structure, And Burdens Of Proof, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Carl Shapiro

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Since the Supreme Court’s landmark 1963 decision in Philadelphia National Bank, antitrust challengers have mounted prima facie cases against horizontal mergers that rested on the level and increase in market concentration caused by the merger, with proponents of the merger then permitted to rebut by providing evidence that the merger will not have the feared anticompetitive effects. Although the way that concentration is measured and the triggering levels have changed over the last half century, the basic approach has remained intact. This longstanding structural presumption, which is well supported by economic theory and evidence, has been critical to effective …


Horizontal Shareholding And Antitrust Policy, Fiona M. Scott Morton, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2018

Horizontal Shareholding And Antitrust Policy, Fiona M. Scott Morton, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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“Horizontal shareholding” occurs when one or more equity funds own shares of competitors operating in a concentrated product market. For example, the four largest mutual fund companies might be large shareholders of all the major United States air carriers. A growing body of empirical literature concludes that under these conditions market output in the product market is lower and prices higher than they would otherwise be.

Here we consider how the antitrust laws might be applied to this practice, identifying the issues that courts are likely to encounter and attempting to anticipate litigation problems. We assume that neither the mutual …


Copyright As Market Prospect, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Jan 2018

Copyright As Market Prospect, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

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For many decades now, copyright jurisprudence and scholarship have looked to the common law of torts—principally trespass and negligence—in order to understand copyright’s structure of entitlement and liability. This focus on property- and harm-based torts has altogether ignored an area of tort law with significant import for our understanding of copyright law: tortious interference with a prospective economic advantage. This Article develops an understanding of copyright law using tortious interference with a prospect as a homology. Tortious interference with a prospect allows a plaintiff to recover when a defendant's volitional actions interfere with a potential economic benefit that was likely …


Common Carriage’S Domain, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2018

Common Carriage’S Domain, Christopher S. Yoo

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The judicial decision invalidating the Federal Communications Commission's first Open Internet Order has led advocates to embrace common carriage as the legal basis for network neutrality. In so doing, network neutrality proponents have overlooked the academic literature on common carriage as well as lessons from its implementation history. This Essay distills these learnings into five factors that play a key role in promoting common carriage's success: (1) commodity products, (2) simple interfaces, (3) stability and uniformity in the transmission technology, (4) full deployment of the transmission network, and (5) stable demand and market shares. Applying this framework to the Internet …


Foreword: Bankruptcy’S New And Old Frontiers, William W. Bratton, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2018

Foreword: Bankruptcy’S New And Old Frontiers, William W. Bratton, David A. Skeel Jr.

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This Symposium marks the fortieth anniversary of the enactment of the 1978 Bankruptcy Code (the “1978 Code” or the “Code”) with an extended look at seismic changes that currently are reshaping Chapter 11 reorganization. Today’s typical Chapter 11 case looks radically different than did the typical case in the Code’s early years. In those days, Chapter 11 afforded debtors a cozy haven. Most everything that mattered occurred within the context of the formal proceeding, where the debtor enjoyed agenda control, a leisurely timetable, and judicial solicitude. The safe haven steadily disappeared over time, displaced by a range of countervailing forces …


Improving Regulatory Analysis At Independent Agencies, Cary Coglianese Jan 2018

Improving Regulatory Analysis At Independent Agencies, Cary Coglianese

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Each year, independent regulatory agencies—such as the Federal Communications Commission, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Securities and Exchange Commission—issue highly consequential regulations. When they issue their regulations, however, they do not have to meet the same requirements for analysis that apply to other agencies. Consequently, courts, policymakers, and scholars have voiced serious reservations about a general lack of high-quality prospective analysis of new regulations at independent agencies. These agencies’ track records with retrospective analysis of their existing regulations raise similar concerns. In this article, I approach the quality of regulatory analysis at independent agencies as a policy problem, assessing the current …


Optimizing Regulation For An Optimizing Economy, Cary Coglianese Jan 2018

Optimizing Regulation For An Optimizing Economy, Cary Coglianese

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Much economic activity in the United States today emanates from technological advances that optimize through contextualization. Innovations as varied as Airbnb and Uber, fintech firms, and precision medicine are transforming major sectors in the economy by customizing goods and services as well as refining matches between available resources and interested buyers. The technological advances that make up the optimizing economy create new challenges for government oversight of the economy. Traditionally, government has overseen economic activity through general regulations that aim to treat all individuals equally; however, in the optimizing economy, business is moving in the direction of greater individualization, not …


Insolvency Law As Credit Enhancement And Enforcement Mechanism: A Closer Look At Global Modernization Of Secured Transactions Law, Charles W. Mooney Jr. Jan 2018

Insolvency Law As Credit Enhancement And Enforcement Mechanism: A Closer Look At Global Modernization Of Secured Transactions Law, Charles W. Mooney Jr.

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This essay revisits earlier work on the relationship between insolvency law and secured credit, the role of secured transactions law reforms, and the benefits of secured credit. These complex relationships require a holistic approach toward reforms of secured transactions law and insolvency law. Merely enacting sensible secured transactions laws and insolvency laws may be insufficient to produce the intended benefits from either set of laws.

The essay is informed by an ongoing qualitative empirical study of business credit in Japan—the Japanese Business Credit Project. The JBCP involves interviews of representatives of Japanese financial institutions and governmental bodies and legal practitioners …


From Equality To Duty: On Altering The Reach, Impact, And Meaning Of The Texas Gulf Legacy, Lisa Fairfax Jan 2018

From Equality To Duty: On Altering The Reach, Impact, And Meaning Of The Texas Gulf Legacy, Lisa Fairfax

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As the first federal court decision to hold that insider trading represented a violation of the federal securities laws, the historical importance of SEC v. Texas Gulf Sulphur Co. is clear. However, its current relevance may not be so clear. This is because while there are some aspects of Texas Gulf that have endured and remain a fixture of federal insider trading jurisprudence, the Supreme Court has firmly repudiated the normative rationale for insider trading articulated by Texas Gulf. This essay contends that this repudiation has important descriptive and normative implications. Perhaps most importantly, this essay contends that Texas Gulf …


Electricity Markets And The Social Project Of Decarbonization, Shelley Welton Jan 2018

Electricity Markets And The Social Project Of Decarbonization, Shelley Welton

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Decarbonization is the process of converting our economy from one that runs predominantly on energy derived from fossil fuels to one that runs almost exclusively on clean, carbon-free energy. If pursued on the scale that experts believe necessary to prevent dangerous climate change, the infrastructure changes required to decarbonize the United States will have significant social and cultural implications. States aggressively pursuing decarbonization have adopted policies reflecting their understanding that decarbonization is a social project implicating numerous value choices. Various state decarbonization policies combine the aim of decarbonization with job promotion, economic development, income redistribution, urban revitalization, open-space preservation, and …


The Economics Of Immigration Reform, Howard F. Chang Jan 2018

The Economics Of Immigration Reform, Howard F. Chang

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In this article, I draw upon economic theory and recent empirical work on the economic and fiscal effects of immigration to evaluate some recent proposals for immigration reform in terms of their effects on the economic welfare of natives in the United States. In particular, I consider the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act, a bill that would cut immigration to half of its current level. President Donald Trump has endorsed the RAISE Act and has insisted that many of its provisions be part of any legislation legalizing the status of unauthorized immigrants granted relief under the …


Constructive Ambiguity And Judicial Development Of Insider Trading, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2018

Constructive Ambiguity And Judicial Development Of Insider Trading, Jill E. Fisch

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The Texas Gulf Sulphur decision began what has become a fifty-year project of developing U.S. insider trading regulation through judicial lawmaking. During the course of that project, the courts developed a complex, fraud-based approach to determining the scope of liability. The approach has led, in many cases, to doctrinal uncertainty, a result that is reflected in the recent decisions in Newman, Salman, and Martoma.

n the face of this uncertainty, many commentators have called for a legislative solution. This article argues, however, that the true challenge of insider trading regulation is a lack of consensus about the …


Relational Contracts Of Adhesion, David A. Hoffman Jan 2018

Relational Contracts Of Adhesion, David A. Hoffman

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Not all digital fine print exculpates liability: some exhorts users to perform before the consumer relationship has soured. We promise to choose strong passwords (and hold them private); to behave civilly on social networks; to refrain from streaming shows and sports; and to avoid reverse-engineering code (or, worse, deploying deadly bots). In short: consumers are apparently regulated by digital fine print, though it’s universally assumed we don’t read it, and even if we did, we’ll never be sued for failing to perform.

On reflection, this ordinary phenomenon is perplexing. Why would firms persist in deploying uncommunicative behavioral spurs? The conventional …


On The Disparate Treatment Of Business And Personal Salt Payments, Michael S. Knoll Jan 2018

On The Disparate Treatment Of Business And Personal Salt Payments, Michael S. Knoll

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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, H.R. 1, would eliminate the federal income tax deduction for nonbusiness state and local taxes while maintaining the deduction for business state and local taxes. That disparate treatment has generated a storm of negative commentary. In this short essay, I consider whether the federal tax law should allow a deduction for business state and local taxes assuming that there is no deduction for nonbusiness state and local taxes. I argue that investors and businesses, including pass-through businesses, should be allowed to deduct state and local property and sales taxes, but not general income taxes.


The Shifting Tides Of Merger Litigation, Matthew D. Cain, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon, Randall S. Thomas Jan 2018

The Shifting Tides Of Merger Litigation, Matthew D. Cain, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon, Randall S. Thomas

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In 2015, Delaware made several important changes to its laws concerning merger litigation. These changes, which were made in response to a perception that levels of merger litigation were too high and that a substantial proportion of merger cases were not providing value, raised the bar, making it more difficult for plaintiffs to win a lawsuit challenging a merger and more difficult for plaintiffs’ counsel to collect a fee award.

We study what has happened in the courts in response to these changes. We find that the initial effect of the changes has been to decrease the volume of merger …


The New Bond Workouts, William W. Bratton, Adam J. Levitin Jan 2018

The New Bond Workouts, William W. Bratton, Adam J. Levitin

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Bond workouts are a famously dysfunctional method of debt restructuring, ridden with opportunistic and coercive behavior by bondholders and bond issuers. Yet since 2008 bond workouts have quietly started to work. A cognizable portion of the restructuring market has shifted from bankruptcy court to out-of-court workouts by way of exchange offers made only to large institutional investors. The new workouts feature a battery of strong-arm tactics by bond issuers, and aggrieved bondholders have complained in court. The result has been a new, broad reading of the primary law governing workouts, section 316(b) of the Trust Indenture Act of 1939 (“TIA”), …