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Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Regulation

Law and Economics

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Reconsidering The Evolutionary Erosion Account Of Corporate Fiduciary Law, William W. Bratton Jan 2021

Reconsidering The Evolutionary Erosion Account Of Corporate Fiduciary Law, William W. Bratton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article reconsiders the dominant account of corporate law’s duty of loyalty, which asserts that the courts have steadily relaxed standards of fiduciary scrutiny applied to self-dealing by corporate managers across more than a century of history—to the great detriment of the shareholder interest. The account originated in Harold Marsh, Jr.’s foundational article, Are Directors Trustees? Conflicts of Interest and Corporate Morality, published in The Business Lawyer in 1966. Marsh’s showing of historical lassitude has been successfully challenged in a recent book by Professor David Kershaw. This Article takes Professor Kershaw’s critique a step further ...


The Irony Of Health Care’S Public Option, Allison K. Hoffman Jan 2021

The Irony Of Health Care’S Public Option, Allison K. Hoffman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The idea of a public health insurance option is at least a half century old, but has not yet had its day in the limelight. This chapter explains why if that moment ever comes, health care’s public option will fall short of expectations that it will provide a differentiated, meaningful alternative to private health insurance and will spur health insurance competition.

Health care’s public option bubbled up in its best-known form in California in the early 2000s and got increasing mainstream attention in the lead up to the 2010 health reform, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ...


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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


Tech, Regulatory Arbitrage, And Limits, Elizabeth Pollman Jan 2019

Tech, Regulatory Arbitrage, And Limits, Elizabeth Pollman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Regulatory arbitrage refers to structuring activity to take advantage of gaps or differences in regulations or laws. Examples include Facebook modifying its terms and conditions to reduce the exposure of its user data to strict European privacy laws, and Uber and other platform companies organizing their affairs to categorize workers as non-employees. This essay explores the constraints and limits on regulatory arbitrage through the lens of the technology industry, known for its adaptiveness and access to strategic resources. Specifically, the essay explores social license and the bundling of laws and resources as constraining forces on regulatory arbitrage, and the legal ...


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

Regulation And The Marginalist Revolution, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


Progressive Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2018

Progressive Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


Planning For Excellence: Insights From An International Review Of Regulators' Strategic Plans, Adam M. Finkel, Daniel Walters, Angus Corbett Jan 2018

Planning For Excellence: Insights From An International Review Of Regulators' Strategic Plans, Adam M. Finkel, Daniel Walters, Angus Corbett

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

What constitutes regulatory excellence? Answering this question is an indispensable first step for any public regulatory agency that is measuring, striving towards, and, ultimately, achieving excellence. One useful way to answer this question would be to draw on the broader literature on regulatory design, enforcement, and management. But, perhaps a more authentic way would be to look at how regulators themselves define excellence. However, we actually know remarkably little about how the regulatory officials who are immersed in the task of regulation conceive of their own success.

In this Article, we investigate regulators’ definitions of regulatory excellence by drawing on ...


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

Regulatory Entrepreneurship, Elizabeth Pollman, Jordan M. Barry

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 startup ...


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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


Toward A Closer Integration Of Law And Computer Science, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2014

Toward A Closer Integration Of Law And Computer Science, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Legal issues increasingly arise in increasingly complex technological contexts. Prominent recent examples include the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), network neutrality, the increasing availability of location information, and the NSA’s surveillance program. Other emerging issues include data privacy, online video distribution, patent policy, and spectrum policy. In short, the rapid rate of technological change has increasingly shown that law and engineering can no longer remain compartmentalized into separate spheres. The logical response would be to embed the interaction between law and policy deeper into the fabric of both fields. An essential step ...


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

Reinventing Copyright And Patent, Abraham Bell, Gideon Parchomovsky

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


Innovation And Competition Policy: Cases And Materials (2nd Ed.): Chapter 1: Competition Policy And The Scope Of Intellectual Property Protection, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Apr 2013

Innovation And Competition Policy: Cases And Materials (2nd Ed.): Chapter 1: Competition Policy And The Scope Of Intellectual Property Protection, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This casebook differs from other IP/antitrust casebooks in that it considers sources of competition policy other than antitrust, including those that emanate from the intellectual property laws themselves, and also related issues such as the relationship between market structure and innovation, the competitive consequences of regulatory rules governing technology competition such as net neutrality and interconnection, misuse, the first sale doctrine, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). The book is free for all to use and distribute, subject to restrictions contained in an open source license agreement printed in each chapter. Chapters will be updated frequently. The author uses ...


The Classical American State And The Regulation Of Morals, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Feb 2013

The Classical American State And The Regulation Of Morals, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The United States has a strong tradition of state regulation that stretches back to the Commonwealth ideal of Revolutionary times and grew steadily throughout the nineteenth century. But regulation also had more than its share of critics. A core principle of Jacksonian democracy was that too much regulation was for the benefit of special interests, mainly wealthier and propertied classes. The ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment after the Civil War provided the lever that laissez faire legal writers used to make a more coherent Constitutional case against increasing regulation. How much they actually succeeded has always been subject to dispute ...


Inside-Out Corporate Governance, David A. Skeel Jr., Vijit Chahar, Alexander Clark, Mia Howard, Bijun Huang, Federico Lasconi, A.G. Leventhal, Matthew Makover, Randi Milgrim, David Payne, Romy Rahme, Nikki Sachdeva, Zachary Scott Jan 2011

Inside-Out Corporate Governance, David A. Skeel Jr., Vijit Chahar, Alexander Clark, Mia Howard, Bijun Huang, Federico Lasconi, A.G. Leventhal, Matthew Makover, Randi Milgrim, David Payne, Romy Rahme, Nikki Sachdeva, Zachary Scott

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Until late in the twentieth century, internal corporate governance—that is, decision making by the principal constituencies of the firm—was clearly distinct from outside oversight by regulators, auditors and credit rating agencies, and markets. With the 1980s takeover wave and hedge funds’ and equity funds’ more recent involvement in corporate governance, the distinction between inside and outside governance has eroded. The tools of inside governance are now routinely employed by governance outsiders, intertwining the two traditional modes of governance. We argue in this Article that the shift has created a new governance paradigm, which we call inside-out corporate governance ...


Ip And Antitrust: Reformation And Harm, Christina Bohannan, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2010

Ip And Antitrust: Reformation And Harm, Christina Bohannan, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Antitrust and intellectual property law both seek to improve economic welfare by facilitating competition and investment in innovation. At various times both antitrust and IP law have wandered off this course and have become more driven by special interests. Today, antitrust and IP are on very different roads to reform. Antitrust reform began in the late 1970s with a series of Supreme Court decisions that linked the plaintiff’s harm and right to obtain a remedy to the competition - furthering goals of antitrust policy. Today, patent law has begun its own reform journey, but it is in a much earlier ...


Standards Ownership And Competition Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Mar 2006

Standards Ownership And Competition Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Antitrust law is a blunt instrument for dealing with many claims of anticompetitive standard setting. Antitrust fact finders lack the sophistication to pass judgment on the substantive merits of a standard. In any event, antitrust is not a roving mandate to question bad standards. It requires an injury to competition, and whether the minimum conditions for competitive harm are present can often be determined without examining the substance of the standard itself.

When government involvement in standard setting is substantial antitrust challenges should generally be rejected. The petitioning process in a democratic system protects even bad legislative judgments from collateral ...


Federalism And Antitrust Reform, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Oct 2005

Federalism And Antitrust Reform, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Currently the Antitrust Modernization Commission is considering numerous proposals for adjusting the relationship between federal antitrust authority and state regulation. This essay examines two areas that have produced a significant amount of state-federal conflict: state regulation of insurance and the state action immunity for general state regulation. It argues that no principle of efficiency, regulatory theory, or federalism justifies the McCarran-Ferguson Act, which creates an antitrust immunity for state regulation of insurance. What few benefits the Act confers could be fully realized by an appropriate interpretation of the state action doctrine. Second, the current formulation of the antitrust state action ...


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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 Epa's Risky Reasoning, Cary Coglianese, Gary E. Marchant Jan 2004

The Epa's Risky Reasoning, Cary Coglianese, Gary E. Marchant

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Regulators must rely on science to understand problems and predict the consequences of regulatory actions, but science by itself cannot justify public policy decisions. We review the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to justify recent changes to its National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone and particulate matter, showing how the agency was able to cloak its policy judgments under the guise of scientific objectivity. By doing so, the EPA evaded accountability for a shifting and incoherent set of policy positions that will have major implications for public health and the economy. For example, even though EPA claimed to ...


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

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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.