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The Economics Of Class Action Waivers, Albert H. Choi, Kathryn E. Spier Mar 2021

The Economics Of Class Action Waivers, Albert H. Choi, Kathryn E. Spier

Articles

Many firms require consumers, employees, and suppliers to sign class action waivers as a condition of doing business with the firm, and the U.S. Supreme Court has endorsed companies’ ability to block class actions through mandatory individual arbitration clauses. Are class action waivers serving the interests of society or are they facilitating socially harmful business practices? This paper synthesizes and extends the existing law and economics literature by analyzing the firms’ incentive to impose class action waivers. While in many settings the firms’ incentive to block class actions may be aligned with maximizing social welfare, in many other settings ...


Federalizing Tax Justice, Reuven Avi-Yonah, Orli Avi-Yonah, Nir Fishbien, Hayian Xu Feb 2021

Federalizing Tax Justice, Reuven Avi-Yonah, Orli Avi-Yonah, Nir Fishbien, Hayian Xu

Articles

The United States is the only large federal country that does not have an explicit way to reduce the economic disparities among more and less developed regions. In Germany, for example, federal revenues are distributed by a formula that takes into account the relative level of wealth of each state (the so-called Finanzausgleich, or fiscal equalization). Similar mechanisms are found in Australia, Canada, India, and other large federal countries. The United States, on the other hand, has no such explicit redistribution. Each state is generally considered equal and sovereign, and the federal government does not distribute revenues to equalize the ...


The Cost Of Novelty, Will Nicholson Price Ii Mar 2020

The Cost Of Novelty, Will Nicholson Price Ii

Articles

Patent law tries to spur the development of new and better innova­tive technology. But it focuses much more on “new” than “better”—and it turns out that “new” carries real social costs. I argue that patent law promotes innovation that diverges from existing technology, either a little (what I call “differentiating innovation”) or a lot (“exploring innova­tion”), at the expense of innovation that tells us more about existing technology (“deepening innovation”). Patent law’s focus on newness is unsurprising, and fits within a well-told narrative of innovative diversity accompanied by market selection of the best technologies. Unfortunately, innovative ...


Should Automakers Be Responsible For Accidents?, Kyle D. Logue May 2019

Should Automakers Be Responsible For Accidents?, Kyle D. Logue

Articles

Motor vehicles are among the most dangerous products sold anywhere. Automobiles pose a larger risk of accidental death than any other product, except perhaps opioids. Annual autocrash deaths in the United States have not been below 30,000 since the 1940s, reaching a recent peak of roughly 40,000 in 2016. And the social cost of auto crashes goes beyond deaths. Auto-accident victims who survive often incur extraordinary medical expenses. Those crash victims whose injuries render them unable to work experience lost income. Auto accidents also cause nontrivial amounts of property damage—mostly to the automobiles themselves, but also to ...


Expired Patients, Trade Secrets, And Stymied Competition, W. Nicholson Price Ii Jan 2017

Expired Patients, Trade Secrets, And Stymied Competition, W. Nicholson Price Ii

Articles

Patents and trade secrecy have long been considered substitute incentives for innovation. When inventors create a new invention, they traditionally must choose between the two. And if inventors choose to patent their invention, society provides strong legal protection in exchange for disclosure, with the understanding that the protection has a limit: it expires twenty years from the date of filing. At that time, the invention is opened to the public and exposed to competition. This story is incomplete. Patent disclosure is weak and focuses on one technical piece of an invention—but that piece is often only a part of ...


Multinational Firms And Tax Havens, Anna Gumpert, James R. Hines Jr., Monika Schnitzer Oct 2016

Multinational Firms And Tax Havens, Anna Gumpert, James R. Hines Jr., Monika Schnitzer

Articles

Multinational firms with operations in high-tax countries can benefit the most from reallocating taxable income to tax havens, though this is sufficiently difficult and costly that only 20.4% of German multinational firms have any tax haven affiliates. Among German manufacturing firms, a 1 percentage point higher foreign tax rate is associated with a 2.3% greater likelihood of owning a tax haven affiliate. This is consistent with tax avoidance incentives and contrasts with earlier evidence for U.S. firms. The relationship is less strong for firms in service industries, possibly reflecting the difficulty of reallocating taxable service income.


Carrot Or Stick? The Shift From Voluntary To Mandatory Disclosure Of Risk Factors, Karen K. Nelson, Adam C. Pritchard Jun 2016

Carrot Or Stick? The Shift From Voluntary To Mandatory Disclosure Of Risk Factors, Karen K. Nelson, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

This study investigates risk factor disclosures, examining both the voluntary, incentive-based disclosure regime provided by the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act as well as the SEC's subsequent mandate of these disclosures. Firms subject to greater litigation risk disclose more risk factors, update the language more from year to year, and use more readable language than firms with lower litigation risk. These differences in the quality of disclosure are pronounced in the voluntary disclosure regime, but converge following the SEC mandate as low-risk firms improved the quality of their risk factor disclosures. Consistent with these ...


Manufacturing Barriers To Biologics Competition And Innovation, W. Nicholson Price Ii., Arti K. Rai Mar 2016

Manufacturing Barriers To Biologics Competition And Innovation, W. Nicholson Price Ii., Arti K. Rai

Articles

As finding breakthrough small-molecule drugs becomes more difficult, drug companies are increasingly turning to "large molecule" biologics. Although biologics represent many of the most promising new therapies for previously intractable diseases, they are extremely expensive. Moreover, the pathway for generic-type competition set up by Congress in 2010 is unlikely to yield significant cost savings. This Article provides a fresh diagnosis of and prescription for this major public policy problem. It argues that the key cause is pervasive trade secrecy in the complex area of biologics manufacturing. Under the current regime, this trade secrecy, combined with certain features of Food and ...


The Unintended Effects Of Government-Subsidized Weather Insurance, Omri Ben-Shahar, Kyle D. Logue Oct 2015

The Unintended Effects Of Government-Subsidized Weather Insurance, Omri Ben-Shahar, Kyle D. Logue

Articles

Catastrophes from severe weather are perhaps the costliest accidents humanity faces. While we are still a long way from technologies that would abate the destructive force of storms, there is much we can do to reduce their effect. True, we cannot regulate the weather, but through smart governance and correct incentives we can influence human exposure to the risk of bad weather. We may not be able to control wind or storm surge, but we can prompt people to build sturdier homes with stronger roofs far from floodplains. We call these catastrophes "natural disasters," but they are the result of ...


Responding To Agency Avoidance Of Oira, Nina A. Mendelson, Jonathan B. Wiener Jan 2014

Responding To Agency Avoidance Of Oira, Nina A. Mendelson, Jonathan B. Wiener

Articles

This Article proceeds as follows: Part I provides a background of the system of presidential oversight of regulation through OIRA review. Part II analyzes: (1) the incentives for agencies to cooperate with or avoid OIRA, (2) a broad array of agency avoidance tactics, and (3) corresponding response options (especially in a repeat-player relationship). Part III argues that response options to agency avoidance should not be unquestioningly pursued or rejected. Instead, they should be evaluated using many of the same principles OIRA employs in reviewing agency regulation, including a systematic consideration of the benefits and costs of particular response actions and ...


Bargaining Over Loyalty, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2013

Bargaining Over Loyalty, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Contracts between suppliers and customers frequently contain provisions rewarding the customer for exhibiting loyalty to the seller. For example, suppliers may offer customers preferential pricing for buying a specified percentage of their requirements from the supplier or buying minimum numbers of products across multiple product lines. Such loyalty-inducing contracts have come under attack on antitrust grounds because of their potential to foreclose competitors or soften competition by enabling tacit collusion among suppliers. This Article defends loyalty inducement as a commercial practice. Although it can be anticompetitive under some circumstances, rewarding loyal customers is usually procompetitive and price reducing. The two ...


The Last Best Hope For Progressivity In Tax, E. J. Mccaffery, James R. Hines Jr. Jan 2010

The Last Best Hope For Progressivity In Tax, E. J. Mccaffery, James R. Hines Jr.

Articles

We argue that a spending tax, as opposed to an income or wage tax, is the “last best hope” for a return to significantly more progressive marginal tax rates than obtain today. The simple explanation for this central claim looks to incentive effects, especially for “rich people,” as both economists and commentators are inclined to focus. High marginal tax rates under an income tax fall on and hence deter the socially productive activities of work and savings. High marginal rates under a wage tax fall on and hence deter the socially productive activity of work alone. But high marginal rates ...


How Important Are Perpetual Tax Savings?, James R. Hines Jr. Jan 2010

How Important Are Perpetual Tax Savings?, James R. Hines Jr.

Articles

State and local expenditure and tax revenue respond less to the business cycle than do federal spending and revenue, thereby reducing the countercyclicality of total government expenditure and revenue. This paper considers forces responsible for the cyclical pattern of state expenditure and revenue. Annual fluctuations in state personal income are associated with small changes in state spending and significant changes in tax receipts; receipt of federal grants is associated with greater state spending. Tax collections, and to a lesser degree expenditure, of larger states are more closely associated with annual income fluctuations than are the tax collections and expenditure of ...


Intellectual Liability, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2009

Intellectual Liability, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Intellectual property is increasingly a misnomer since the right to exclude is the defining characteristic of property and incentives to engage in inventive and creative activity are increasingly being granted in the form of liability rights (which allow the holder of the right to collect a royalty from users) rather than property rights (which allow the holder of the right to exclude others from using the invention or creation). Much of this recent reorientation in the direction of liability rules arises from a concern over holdout or monopoly power in intellectual property. The debate over whether liability rules or property ...


Operationalizing Deterrence Claims Management (In Hopsitals, A Large Retailer, And Jails And Prisons), Margo Schlanger Jan 2008

Operationalizing Deterrence Claims Management (In Hopsitals, A Large Retailer, And Jails And Prisons), Margo Schlanger

Articles

The theory that the prospect of liability for damages deters risky behavior has been developed in countless articles and books. The literature is far sparser, however, on how deterrence is operationalized. And prior work slights an equally important effect of damage actions, to incentivize claims management in addition to harm-reduction responses that are cost- rather than liabilityminimizing. This article works in the intersection of these two understudied areas, focusing on claims management steps taken by frequently sued organizations, and opening a window into the black box of deterrence to see how those steps may end up serving harm-reduction purposes as ...


The (Legal) Pains Of Vioxx: Why Product Liability Can Make Products More Dangerous, Omri Ben-Shahar Jan 2006

The (Legal) Pains Of Vioxx: Why Product Liability Can Make Products More Dangerous, Omri Ben-Shahar

Articles

Comparing the experience of Vioxx and Celebrex leads Omri Ben-Shahar to think that stiff product liability has the perverse effect of inducing manufacturers of defective products to leave these products on the market, rather than withdraw them.


Second Best Damage Action Deterrence, Margo Schlanger Jan 2006

Second Best Damage Action Deterrence, Margo Schlanger

Articles

Potential defendants faced with the prospect of tort or tort-like damage actions can reduce their liability exposure in a number of ways. Prior scholarship has dwelled primarily on the possibility that they may respond to the threat of liability by augmenting the amount of care they take.1 Defendants (I limit myself to defendants for simplicity) will increase their expenditures on care, so the theory goes, when those expenditures yield sufficient liability-reducing dividends; more care decreases liability exposure by simultaneously making it less likely that the actors will be found to have behaved tortiously in the event of an accident ...


The Problem Of New Uses, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2005

The Problem Of New Uses, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

Discovering new uses for drugs that are already on the market seems like it ought to be the low-lying fruit of biopharmaceutical research and development (R&D). Firms have already made significant investments in developing these drugs and bringing them to market, including testing them in clinical trials, shepherding them through the FDA regulatory approval process, building production facilities, and training sales staff to market them to physicians. By this point, the drugs have begun to enjoy goodwill among patients and physicians and casual observations in the course of clinical experience may point to potential new uses. One might expect ...


Learning The Value Of Drugs - Is Rofecoxib A Regulatory Success Story?, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2005

Learning The Value Of Drugs - Is Rofecoxib A Regulatory Success Story?, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

Controversy over recent revelations concerning the adverse cardiovascular effects of selective cyclooxygenase- 2 (COX-2) inhibitors has generally been framed as a story of regulatory failure, in which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has failed in its mission to protect the public from unsafe products. But this simplistic understanding of the mission of the FDA seems to make failure all but inevitable, if the reliable observation of the risks and benefits of a drug requires rigorous long-term studies. Perhaps in an earlier era the goal of drug regulation was simply to protect the public from poisons. Today, drug regulation guides ...


Obvious To Whom? Evaluating Inventions From The Perspective Of Phosita, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2004

Obvious To Whom? Evaluating Inventions From The Perspective Of Phosita, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

In this Article, I consider the possibility of giving the USPTO input from currently active technological practitioners in evaluating the obviousness of claimed inventions. Such input could potentially serve three useful functions. First, it could improve the accuracy of USPTO decisionmaking by providing access to the perspective of actual practitioners as to the obviousness of inventions from the perspective of the hypothetical PHOSITA. Second, it could help the USPTO document the evidentiary basis for rejections that rest in part upon tacit knowledge within technological communities. Third, it could provide a quality control mechanism that would improve the credibility of USPTO ...


Markets As Monitors: A Proposal To Replace Class Actions With Exchanges As Securities Fraud Enforcers, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 1999

Markets As Monitors: A Proposal To Replace Class Actions With Exchanges As Securities Fraud Enforcers, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

Fraud in the securities markets has been a focus of legislative reform in recent years. Corporations-especially those in the high-technology industry-have complained that they are being unfairly targeted by plaintiffs' lawyers in class action securities fraud lawsuits. The corporations' complaints led to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 ("Reform Act"). The Reform Act attempted to reduce meritless litigation against corporate issuers by erecting a series of procedural barriers to the filing of securities class actions. Plaintiffs' attorneys warned that the Reform Act and the resulting decrease in securities class actions would leave corporate fraud unchecked and deprive defrauded ...


A New Options Theory For Risk Multipliers Of Attorney's Fees In Federal Civil Rights Litigation, Peter H. Huang Jan 1998

A New Options Theory For Risk Multipliers Of Attorney's Fees In Federal Civil Rights Litigation, Peter H. Huang

Articles

Given the importance of private enforcement of federal civil rights laws, Congress and the courts have attempted to encourage plaintiffs' attorneys to accept meritorious civil rights cases through fee shifting and risk multipliers. Recently, however, the Supreme Court has essentially prohibited the use of risk multipliers, thus undercompensating attorneys for the risk of losing civil rights actions and discouraging the filing of such cases. In this Article, Professor Huang develops a new options-based theory of calculating attorney's fees. Professor Huang argues that a lawsuit consists of a sequence of options to continue with the case rather than a once-and-for-all ...


Upstream Patents = Downstream Bottlenecks, Rebecca S. Eisenberg, Michael A. Heller Jan 1998

Upstream Patents = Downstream Bottlenecks, Rebecca S. Eisenberg, Michael A. Heller

Articles

Thirty years ago in Science, Garrett Hardin introduced the metaphor "tragedy of the commons" to help explain overpopulation, air pollution, and species extinction. People often overuse resources they own in common because they have no incentive to conserve. Today, Hardin's metaphor is central to debates in economics, law, and science and powerful justification for privatizing commons property. While the metaphor highlights the cost of overuse when governments allow too many people to use a scarce resource, it misses the possibility of underuse when governments give too many people rights to exclude others. Privatization can solve one tragedy, but cause ...


Toward A Tax-Based Explanation Of The Liability Insurance Crisis, Kyle D. Logue Sep 1996

Toward A Tax-Based Explanation Of The Liability Insurance Crisis, Kyle D. Logue

Articles

The so-called liability insurance crisis of 1985 and 1986 transformed the way we think about tort law and about liability insurance markets. The crisis phenomena, which first appeared in late 1984 and lasted until mid-1986, consisted of enormous increases in liability insurance premiums and alarming reductions in the availability of certain types of liability coverage. In the two principal liability lines of insurance (Other Liability and Medical Malpractice), premiums increased by hundreds (in some cases thousands) of percentage points in a matter of months. At the same time, the availability of liability insurance contracted sharply. The liability policies that were ...


The Tragedy Of The Commons, Part Two, James E. Krier Jan 1992

The Tragedy Of The Commons, Part Two, James E. Krier

Articles

This symposium is about the idea of "free market environmentalism" in general and the book Free Market Environmentalism, by Terry Anderson and Donald Leal,1 in particular. While I focus chiefly on Anderson and Leal's book, the discussion will necessarily involve the general idea of free market environmentalism as well. The conceit of my tide, which obviously derives from Garrett Hardin's celebrated essay on The Tragedy of the Commons,2 is this: Superficial differences aside, Hardin's essay and Anderson and Leal's book address the same fundamental problem of coordinating human behavior as it affects environmental quality ...


Risk, Courts, And Agencies, Clayton P. Gillette, James E. Krier Jan 1990

Risk, Courts, And Agencies, Clayton P. Gillette, James E. Krier

Articles

Public risks are precisely the risks that have recently captured the attention of the legal community and the world at large, in no small part because they give rise to such novel problems for lawyers and such grave apprehensions among lay people. Public risks have moved the legal system to relax doctrines--regarding, for example, standards of causation and culpability, burdens of proof, sharing of liability--that were designed to deal with the private risks that once dominated the landscape. And public risks have moved lay people to intensify their demands for risk control measures. These developments suggest that public risks are ...


Patents And The Progress Of Science: Exclusive Rights And Experimental Use, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 1989

Patents And The Progress Of Science: Exclusive Rights And Experimental Use, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

In this article I analyze the proper scope of an experimental use exemption from patent infringement liability by comparing the rationales behind promoting technological progress through granting exclusive patent rights in inventions with competing arguments for promoting scientific progress by allowing all investigators to enjoy free access to the discoveries of other scientists. I begin by reviewing key features of the patent laws and theoretical justifications for granting patent monopolies in order to clarify the implications of existing patent doctrine and theory for an experimental use exemption. I then look to the literature in the sociology, history, and philosophy of ...


Proprietary Rights And The Norms Of Science In Biotechnology Research, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Dec 1987

Proprietary Rights And The Norms Of Science In Biotechnology Research, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

As basic research in biotechnology yields increasing commercial applications, scientists and their research sponsors have become more eager to protect the commercial value of research discoveries through intellectual property law. Some scientists fear that these commercial incentives will weaken or even undermine the norms that have traditionally governed scientific research. In this Article, Professor Eisenberg examines the interaction of proprietary rights in inventions with these traditional scientific norms. Trade secrecy, she argues, is an undesirable strategy for protection of basic research discoveries because it impedes dissemination of new knowledge to the scientific community. She finds that patent law is in ...