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Occupational Licensing And The Limits Of Public Choice Theory, Gabriel Scheffler, Ryan Nunn Apr 2019

Occupational Licensing And The Limits Of Public Choice Theory, Gabriel Scheffler, Ryan Nunn

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Public choice theory has long been the dominant lens through which economists and other scholars have viewed occupational licensing. According to the public choice account, practitioners favor licensing because they want to reduce competition and drive up their own wages. This essay argues that the public choice account has been overstated, and that it ironically has served to distract from some of the most important harms of licensing, as well as from potential solutions. We emphasize three specific drawbacks of this account. First, it is more dismissive of legitimate threats to public health and safety than the research warrants. Second, …


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 …


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 …


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 …


Risk And Regulatory Calibration: Wto Compliance Review Of The U.S. Dolphin-Safe Tuna Labeling Regime, Cary Coglianese, André Sapir Jan 2017

Risk And Regulatory Calibration: Wto Compliance Review Of The U.S. Dolphin-Safe Tuna Labeling Regime, Cary Coglianese, André Sapir

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In a series of recent disputes arising under the TBT Agreement, the Appellate Body has interpreted Article 2.1 to provide that discriminatory and trade-distortive regulation could be permissible if based upon a “legitimate regulatory distinction.” In its recent compliance decision in the US-Tuna II dispute, the AB reaffirmed its view that regulatory distinctions embedded in the U.S. dolphin-safe tuna labeling regime were not legitimate because they were not sufficiently calibrated to the risks to dolphins associated with different tuna fishing conditions. This paper analyzes the AB’s application of the notion of risk-based regulation in the US-Tuna II dispute and finds …


Regulatory Entrepreneurship, Elizabeth Pollman, Jordan M. Barry Jan 2017

Regulatory Entrepreneurship, Elizabeth Pollman, Jordan M. Barry

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This Article examines what we term “regulatory entrepreneurship” — pursuing a line of business in which changing the law is a significant part of the business plan. Regulatory entrepreneurship is not new, but it has become increasingly salient in recent years as companies from Airbnb to Tesla, and from DraftKings to Uber, have become agents of legal change. We document the tactics that companies have employed, including operating in legal gray areas, growing “too big to ban,” and mobilizing users for political support. Further, we theorize the business and law-related factors that foster regulatory entrepreneurship. Well-funded, scalable, and highly connected …


The Challenge Of Regulatory Excellence, Cary Coglianese Dec 2016

The Challenge Of Regulatory Excellence, Cary Coglianese

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Regulation is a high-stakes enterprise marked by tremendous challenges and relentless public pressure. Regulators are expected to protect the public from harms associated with economic activity and technological change without unduly impeding economic growth or efficiency. Regulators today also face new demands, such as adapting to rapidly changing and complex financial instruments, the emergence of the sharing economy, and the potential hazards of synthetic biology and other innovations. Faced with these challenges, regulators need a lodestar for what constitutes high-quality regulation and guidance on how to improve their organizations’ performance. In the book Achieving Regulatory Excellence, leading regulatory experts …


The Mess At Morgan: Risk, Incentives And Shareholder Empowerment, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2015

The Mess At Morgan: Risk, Incentives And Shareholder Empowerment, Jill E. Fisch

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The financial crisis of 2008 focused increasing attention on corporate America and, in particular, the risk-taking behavior of large financial institutions. A growing appreciation of the “public” nature of the corporation resulted in a substantial number of high profile enforcement actions. In addition, demands for greater accountability led policymakers to attempt to harness the corporation’s internal decision-making structure, in the name of improved corporate governance, to further the interest of non-shareholder stakeholders. Dodd-Frank’s advisory vote on executive compensation is an example.

This essay argues that the effort to employ shareholders as agents of public values and, thereby, to inculcate corporate …


Actavis And Error Costs: A Reply To Critics, Aaron S. Edlin, C. Scott Hemphill, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Carl Shapiro Oct 2014

Actavis And Error Costs: A Reply To Critics, Aaron S. Edlin, C. Scott Hemphill, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Carl Shapiro

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The Supreme Court’s opinion in Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc. provided fundamental guidance about how courts should handle antitrust challenges to reverse payment patent settlements. In our previous article, Activating Actavis, we identified and operationalized the essential features of the Court’s analysis. Our analysis has been challenged by four economists, who argue that our approach might condemn procompetitive settlements.

As we explain in this reply, such settlements are feasible, however, only under special circumstances. Moreover, even where feasible, the parties would not actually choose such a settlement in equilibrium. These considerations, and others discussed in the reply, serve to …


Reinventing Copyright And Patent, Abraham Bell, Gideon Parchomovsky Jan 2014

Reinventing Copyright And Patent, Abraham Bell, Gideon Parchomovsky

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Intellectual property systems all over the world are modeled on the one-size-fits-all principle. However important or unimportant, inventions and original works of authorship receive the same scope of protection, for the same period, backed by the same variety of legal remedies. Metaphorically speaking, all intellectual property is equal under the law. This equality comes at a heavy price. The equality principle gives all creators access to the same remedies, even when those remedies create perverse incentives. Moreover, society overpays for innovation by inflicting on society more monopoly losses than are strictly necessary to incentivize production.

In this Article, we propose …


Activating Actavis, Aaron Edlin, C. Scott Hemphill, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Carl Shapiro Oct 2013

Activating Actavis, Aaron Edlin, C. Scott Hemphill, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Carl Shapiro

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In Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc., the Supreme Court provided fundamental guidance about how courts should handle antitrust challenges to reverse payment patent settlements. The Court came down strongly in favor of an antitrust solution to the problem, concluding that “an antitrust action is likely to prove more feasible administratively than the Eleventh Circuit believed.” At the same time, Justice Breyer’s majority opinion acknowledged that the Court did not answer every relevant question. The opinion closed by “leav[ing] to the lower courts the structuring of the present rule-of-reason antitrust litigation.”

This article is an effort to help courts and …


Antitrust And The 'Filed Rate' Doctrine: Deregulation And State Action, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2012

Antitrust And The 'Filed Rate' Doctrine: Deregulation And State Action, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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In its Keogh decision the Supreme Court held that although the Interstate Commerce Act did not exempt railroads from antitrust liability, a private plaintiff may not recover treble damages based on an allegedly monopolistic tariff rate filed with a federal agency. Keogh very likely grew out of Justice Brandeis's own zeal for regulation and his concern for the protection of small business — in this case, mainly shippers whom he felt were protected from discrimination by filed rates. The Supreme Court's Square D decision later conceded that Keogh may have been “unwise as a matter of policy,” but reaffirmed it …


The Role Of Politics And Policy In Television Regulation, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2004

The Role Of Politics And Policy In Television Regulation, Christopher S. Yoo

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This article is a reply to Thomas Hazlett’s commentary on my article entitled, “Rethinking the Commitment to Free, Local Television.” Although politics and public choice theory represent an important approach for analyzing government actions, economic policy still exercises some influence over the regulation of television. On the one hand, we agree that the regulatory preference of free television and local programming is more a reflection of political considerations than economic policy and that the importance of promoting communities of interest over geographic communities, and the potential for new services such as Digital Audio Radio Services to benefit consumers. On the …


Enron And The Dark Side Of Shareholder Value, William W. Bratton Jan 2002

Enron And The Dark Side Of Shareholder Value, William W. Bratton

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No abstract provided.