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Virtual Intermediaries Ii - Canadian Solutions (Drop Shipments) Compared With Us, Japanese & Eu Approaches, Richard Thompson Ainsworth Dec 2009

Virtual Intermediaries Ii - Canadian Solutions (Drop Shipments) Compared With Us, Japanese & Eu Approaches, Richard Thompson Ainsworth

Faculty Scholarship

Virtual travel agents are opportunistic internet-based travel agents. They are intermediary businesses that create mutually beneficial three-party transactions that secure accommodations for a traveler that: (a) meet the basic needs of the traveler (at a discount), (b) fills vacant room for accommodation retailers with guests that pay below market, but above standard costs, and (c) profit from the extra cash, the margin in the transaction.

The virtual intermediary’s eye is always on the discount and the cash flow. One of the things that catches their attention are the accommodation taxes which they collect from the traveler in advance and remit …


Patent Examination Priorities, Michael J. Meurer Nov 2009

Patent Examination Priorities, Michael J. Meurer

Faculty Scholarship

Measures that discourage excessive patenting and claiming, propose shared examination responsibilities, and increase staffing all have potential to raise examination quality and alleviate the patent application backlog. So far these measures have been too limited to have much impact, and there is insufficient evidence to reliably judge their effectiveness. In this Article, I consider a different approach to examination reform. I take as given a significant scarcity of examiner time, and I ask how the PTO should set examination priorities. In other words, how much of their eighteen hours should examiners devote to the various tasks they are expected to …


The Morphing Of Mtic Fraud: Vat Fraud Infects Tradable Co2 Permits, Richard Thompson Ainsworth Aug 2009

The Morphing Of Mtic Fraud: Vat Fraud Infects Tradable Co2 Permits, Richard Thompson Ainsworth

Faculty Scholarship

Missing trader intra-community (MTIC) fraud has been slowly morphing from cell phones and computer chips to other commodities. In the last few months however MTIC made a dramatic appearance in tradable CO2 permits. It closed exchanges and prompted France and the Netherlands to unilaterally change their tax treatment of CO2 trades. The UK has followed the French treatment in large measure. On Monday June 8, 2009 rumors of MTIC fraud in carbon emission permits closed the main European exchange for spot trading of European Union carbon emissions permits and Kyoto offsets. When BlueNext began trading permits again on Wednesday, June …


Massachusetts Zappers - Collecting The Sales Tax That Has Already Been Paid, Richard Thompson Ainsworth May 2009

Massachusetts Zappers - Collecting The Sales Tax That Has Already Been Paid, Richard Thompson Ainsworth

Faculty Scholarship

No other New England state is as vulnerable to Zappers as is the State of Massachusetts. Zappers and related software programming, Phantom-ware, facilitate an old tax fraud – skimming cash receipts. In this instance skimming is performed with modern electronic cash registers (ECRs).

Zappers are a global revenue problem, but to the best of this author’s knowledge they have not been uncovered in Massachusetts. A global perspective says: it is highly unlikely that Zappers are not in the Commonwealth – we just need to find them. In fact, using a Quebec template, tax losses from Zappers and related frauds in …


Use And Enjoyment Of Intangible Services: The German, Austrian, Danish And Estonian Vat Derogations, Richard Thompson Ainsworth May 2009

Use And Enjoyment Of Intangible Services: The German, Austrian, Danish And Estonian Vat Derogations, Richard Thompson Ainsworth

Faculty Scholarship

When the Czech Republic elected (effective January 1, 2009) to derogate from the standard rules for determining the place of supply for intangible services, pursuant to Article 58 of the Recast VAT Directive (RVD), it was following the lead of ten other Member States. This paper considers four of those other jurisdictions - Germany, Austria, Estonia, and Denmark - and compares their derogations with that of the Czech Republic.

In each instance a use and enjoyment standard determines the place of supply for certain intangible services. The affected transactions are (potentially) wide ranging. In each instance non-EU countries are on …


The (Misunderstood) Genius Of American Corporate Law, Robert B. Ahdieh Apr 2009

The (Misunderstood) Genius Of American Corporate Law, Robert B. Ahdieh

Faculty Scholarship

In this Reply, I respond to comments by Bill Bratton, Larry Cunningham, and Todd Henderson on my recent paper - Trapped in a Metaphor: The Limited Implications of Federalism for Corporate Governance. I begin by reiterating my basic thesis - that state competition should be understood to have little consequence for corporate governance, if (as charter competition's advocates assume) capital-market-driven managerial competition is also at work. I then consider some of the thoughtful critiques of this claim, before suggesting ways in which the comments highlight just the kind of comparative institutional analysis my paper counsels. Rather than a stark choice …


Use And Enjoyment Of Intangible Services: The Czech Republic's Vat Derogation, Richard Thompson Ainsworth Mar 2009

Use And Enjoyment Of Intangible Services: The Czech Republic's Vat Derogation, Richard Thompson Ainsworth

Faculty Scholarship

On January 1, 2009 a minor change in the Czech Republic VAT became effective. A use and enjoyment standard was added to modify the sourcing of certain service transactions. Traditional proxy-based rules, derived from Articles 43 and 56(1) of the Recast VAT Directive (RVD), are set aside by this modification when the customer receiving the services has a permanent establishment (PE) in the Czech Republic. The modification is authorized by RVD 58.

This change is a limited adoption of RVD 58(b), and functions like a full force of attraction principle in direct taxation. If caught by these rules, transactions that …


An Introduction To Social Choice, Maxwell L. Stearns Mar 2009

An Introduction To Social Choice, Maxwell L. Stearns

Faculty Scholarship

Social choice studies the differing implications of the concept of rationality (or transitivity) for individuals versus groups under specified conditions and the significance of these differences in various institutional decision making contexts. This introductory chapter on social choice for the Elgar Handbook on Public Choice (Elgar Publishing Company, Dan Farber and Anne O’Connell, editors), introduces the basic framework of social choice, considers the implications of social choice for various legal and policy contexts, and provides a framework for evaluating a range of normative proposals grounded in social choice for reforming lawmaking institutions. After a brief introduction, part II introduces the …


Quebec's Module D'Enregistrement Des Ventes (Mev): Fighting The Zapper, Phantomware And Tax Fraud With Technology, Richard Thompson Ainsworth Feb 2009

Quebec's Module D'Enregistrement Des Ventes (Mev): Fighting The Zapper, Phantomware And Tax Fraud With Technology, Richard Thompson Ainsworth

Faculty Scholarship

On January 28, 2008 the Quebec Minister of Revenue, Jean-Marc Fournier, announced that by late 2009 the MRQ will begin testing a device, the module d'enregistrement des ventes (MEV) that is projected to substantially reduce tax fraud in the restaurant sector. By 2010 or 2011 MEVs will be mandatory in all Quebec restaurants, where they will assure accuracy and retention of business records within electronic cash registers (ECRs).

This paper moves beyond a discussion of the variety of sales suppression programs in use - zappers and phantom-ware. The concern here is on enforcement efforts, particularly the MEV. The intent is …


Trapped In A Metaphor: The Limited Implications Of Federalism For Corporate Governance, Robert B. Ahdieh Feb 2009

Trapped In A Metaphor: The Limited Implications Of Federalism For Corporate Governance, Robert B. Ahdieh

Faculty Scholarship

Trapped in a metaphor articulated at the founding of modern corporate law, the study of corporate governance has - for some thirty years - been asking the wrong questions. Rather than a singular race among states, whether to the bottom or the top, the synthesis of William Cary and Ralph Winter’s famous exchange is better understood as two competitions, each serving distinct normative ends. Managerial competition advances the project that has motivated corporate law since Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means - effective regulation of the separation of ownership and control. State competition, by contrast, does not promote a race to …


California Biometrics: A Second Proposal For California's Commission On The 21st Century Economy, Richard Thompson Ainsworth Jan 2009

California Biometrics: A Second Proposal For California's Commission On The 21st Century Economy, Richard Thompson Ainsworth

Faculty Scholarship

This proposal takes a long view to revenue reform. It seeks to fundamentally align the sales tax with the digital foundation of the 21st Century economy.

The core policy question is whether California is willing to change the way it defines sales tax exemptions; is it willing to move from product-centric to person-centric exemptions. Certified tax determination systems can be relied upon. A key element in this proposal is the encryption of exemption certificates in IDs (smart cards with biometric identifiers that will allow the poor or handicapped to make certain purchases tax free).

This proposal suggests that (for example) …


Transfer Pricing In Vat/Gst Vs. Direct Taxation: A Paper On The Topic Of Relations Between Associated Companies, Richard Thompson Ainsworth Jan 2009

Transfer Pricing In Vat/Gst Vs. Direct Taxation: A Paper On The Topic Of Relations Between Associated Companies, Richard Thompson Ainsworth

Faculty Scholarship

This paper considers transfer pricing in VAT/GST and direct taxes, one of a range of tax relationships that flow between associated companies. The topic necessarily proposes an inquiry into vertical harmonization of transfer pricing norms alongside an assessment of present efforts to horizontally harmonize transaction values.

Stated differently, the vertical inquiry is: should the same transaction between the same associated enterprises be valued in the same manner by a single country in VAT/GST and direct taxes? The horizontal effort is: should two jurisdictions treat transactions between associated enterprises within their respective jurisdictions in the same manner in VAT/GST and direct …


California Zappers: A Proposal For The Commission For The 21st Century Economy, Richard Thompson Ainsworth Jan 2009

California Zappers: A Proposal For The Commission For The 21st Century Economy, Richard Thompson Ainsworth

Faculty Scholarship

California has not uncovered a single instance of technology-assisted cash skimming - there are no zappers, and no phantomware in California. Is this because Californians are not skimming cash sales with technology, or is this because the California technology works so well that the fraud cannot be detected?

The record in foreign jurisdictions is reasonable clear. Automated sales suppression technology is widely used to skim cash sales, denying the state revenues from consumption taxes that have been paid by the consumer, reducing taxable business profits, and funding a cash hoard out of which unreported employee wages are paid. Government studies …


Comparative Law By Numbers? Legal Origins Thesis, Doing Business Reports, And The Silence Of Traditional Comparative Law, Ralf Michaels Jan 2009

Comparative Law By Numbers? Legal Origins Thesis, Doing Business Reports, And The Silence Of Traditional Comparative Law, Ralf Michaels

Faculty Scholarship

The legal origins thesis -- the thesis that legal origin impacts economic growth and the common law is better for economic growth than the civil law -- has created hundreds of papers and citation numbers unheard of among comparative lawyers. The Doing Business reports -- cross-country comparisons including rankings on the attractiveness of different legal systems for doing business -- have the highest circulation numbers of all World Bank Publications; even critics admit that they have been successful at inciting legal reform in many countries in the world. Yet, traditional comparative lawyers have all but ignored these developments.

The first …


After The Revolution – Decline And Return Of U.S. Conflicts Of Laws, Ralf Michaels Jan 2009

After The Revolution – Decline And Return Of U.S. Conflicts Of Laws, Ralf Michaels

Faculty Scholarship

Scholars in the US have become uninterested in conflict of laws, at least in the core issues that spurred the conflict of laws revolution, especially questions of method and areas of tort and contract law. Proposals for a new (third) Restatement have not yet led very far. By contrast, new interest comes from the fringes: special political questions and interdisciplinarity. As to the first, I use the example of same‑sex marriages to discuss the extent to which discussions about politics are inseparably linked with discussions over conflict of laws. Conflict of laws is here not a mere additional field in …


Reputation As Property In Virtual Economies, Joseph Blocher Jan 2009

Reputation As Property In Virtual Economies, Joseph Blocher

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Best Cass Scenario, Jonathan B. Wiener Jan 2009

Best Cass Scenario, Jonathan B. Wiener

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Does Intergenerational Justice Require Rising Standards Of Living?, Lawrence A. Zelenak Jan 2009

Does Intergenerational Justice Require Rising Standards Of Living?, Lawrence A. Zelenak

Faculty Scholarship

This essay considers whether it would be morally acceptable for a nation to use massive intergenerational borrowing to pursue a no-growth policy, under which the anticipated standard of living of members of future generations would be no higher than the standard of living of members of the present generation. The essay examines whether justification for such a policy can be found in either the political theory of John Rawls or in the application of utilitarian principles to intergenerational ethics. It concludes that under a Rawlsian analysis there is a strong argument that the current generation has no obligation to strive …


Belief In A Just World, Blaming The Victim, And Hate Crime Statutes, Dhammika Dharmapala, Nuno Garoupa, Richard H. Mcadams Jan 2009

Belief In A Just World, Blaming The Victim, And Hate Crime Statutes, Dhammika Dharmapala, Nuno Garoupa, Richard H. Mcadams

Faculty Scholarship

The earliest economic theory of discrimination proposed the subsequently neglected idea of a "vicious circle" of discrimination (Myrdal,1944). We draw on psychological evidence (that people derive utility from believing that the world is just) to propose a behavioral economic model in which the vicious circle envisaged by Myrdal can arise. We demonstrate the power of this approach through an application to the issue of whether and how to justify penalty enhancements for hate crimes against members of disfavored groups. The crucial assumption is that individuals engage in biased inference in order to preserve their Belief in a Just World, thus …


The Deterrent Effect Of Death Penalty Eligibility: Evidence From The Adoption Of Child Murder Eligibility Factors, Michael D. Frakes, Matthew Harding Jan 2009

The Deterrent Effect Of Death Penalty Eligibility: Evidence From The Adoption Of Child Murder Eligibility Factors, Michael D. Frakes, Matthew Harding

Faculty Scholarship

We draw on within-state variations in the reach of capital punishment statutes between 1977 and 2004 to identify the deterrent effects associated with capital eligibility. Focusing on the most prevalent eligibility expansion, we estimate that the adoption of a child murder factor is associated with an approximately 20% reduction in the homicide rate of youth victims. Eligibility expansions may enhance deterrence by (1) paving the way for more executions and (2) providing prosecutors with greater leverage to secure enhanced non-capital sentences. While executions themselves are rare, this latter channel is likely to be triggered fairly regularly, providing a reasonable basis …


Leverage In The Board Room: The Unsung Influence Of Private Lenders In Corporate Governance, Frederick Tung Jan 2009

Leverage In The Board Room: The Unsung Influence Of Private Lenders In Corporate Governance, Frederick Tung

Faculty Scholarship

The influence of banks and other private lenders pervades public companies. From the first day of a lending arrangement, loan covenants and built-in contingency provisions affect managerial decision making. Conventional corporate governance analysis has been slow to notice or account for this lender influence. Corporate governance discourse has traditionally focused only on corporate law arrangements. The few existing accounts of creditors' influence over firm managers emphasize the drastic actions creditors take in extreme cases - when a firm is in serious trouble - but in fact, private lender influence is a routine feature of corporate governance even absent financial distress. …


Neoliberal Penality: The Birth Of Natural Order, The Illusion Of Free Markets, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2009

Neoliberal Penality: The Birth Of Natural Order, The Illusion Of Free Markets, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

What work do the categories “the free market” and “regulation” do for us? Why do we incarcerate one out of every one hundred adults? These seemingly unrelated questions, it turns out, are deeply interconnected. The categories of free and regulated markets emerged as an effort to make sense of irreducibly individual phenomena – unique forms of market organization. In the process, these categories helped shape our belief that the economic realm is characterized by natural order and equilibrium, and that the only legitimate sphere of government intervention is policing and punishment. The consequences have been devastating: first, in distorting and …


Subsidizing Creativity Through Network Design: Zero Pricing And Net Neutrality, Robin S. Lee, Tim Wu Jan 2009

Subsidizing Creativity Through Network Design: Zero Pricing And Net Neutrality, Robin S. Lee, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

Today, through historical practice, there exists a de facto ban on termination fees – also referred to as a “zero-price” rule (Hemphill, 2008) – which forbids an Internet service provider from charging an additional fee to a content provider who wishes to reach that ISP’s customers. The question is whether this zero-pricing structure should be preserved, or whether carriers should be allowed to charge termination fees and engage in other practices that have the effect of requiring payment to reach users. This paper begins with a defense of the de facto zero-price rule currently in existence. We point out that …


On Uncertainty, Ambiguity, And Contractual Conditions, Eric L. Talley Jan 2009

On Uncertainty, Ambiguity, And Contractual Conditions, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

This article uses the recent Delaware Chancery Court case of Hexion v. Huntsman as a template for motivating thoughts about how contract law should interpret contractual conditions in general – and "material adverse event" provisions in particular – within environments of extreme ambiguity (as opposed to risk). Although ambiguity and aversion there to bear some facial similarities to risk and risk aversion, an optimal contractual allocation of uncertainty does not always track the optimal allocation of risk. After establishing these intuitions as a conceptual proposition, I endeavor to test them empirically, using a unique data set of 528 actual material …


Burying The Constitution Under A Tarp, Gary S. Lawson Jan 2009

Burying The Constitution Under A Tarp, Gary S. Lawson

Faculty Scholarship

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, a.k.a. 'the bank bailout bill,' engendered a fair degree of political controversy during and after its enactment but relatively little constitutional controversy. That is unfortunate, and at least a bit puzzling, because, as a matter of original meaning, the statute raises important constitutional questions along at least four dimensions: it is questionable whether Congress had theenumerated power to authorize the Treasury Department to purchase securities, the specific authorizations were sufficiently vague to raise serious questions under the nondelegation doctrine, the expansion of thepowers of the Secretary of the Treasury under the statute make …


What We Learn In Troubled Times: Deregulation And Safe Work In The New Economy, Susan Bisom-Rapp Jan 2009

What We Learn In Troubled Times: Deregulation And Safe Work In The New Economy, Susan Bisom-Rapp

Faculty Scholarship

Reviews of how federal agencies functioned during George W. Bush’s presidency reveal many instances of regulatory capture by industry. One prototypical example is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the agency responsible for occupational safety and health (OSH) standard setting and enforcement. In contrast, a broad array of stakeholders during the Bush years gave good marks to an entirely separate agency, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which conducts research and develops recommendations to prevent workplace injury and illness. By reviewing the disparate performance of OSHA and NIOSH during the Bush administration, this article sheds light …


Chrysler, Gm And The Future Of Chapter 11, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2009

Chrysler, Gm And The Future Of Chapter 11, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

Although they caused great controversy, the Chrysler and GM bankruptcies broke no new ground. They invoked procedures that are commonly observed in modern Chapter 11 reorganization cases. Government involvement did not distort the bankruptcy process; it instead exposed the reality that Chapter 11 offers secured creditors – especially those that supply financing during the bankruptcy case – control over the fate of distressed firms. Because the federal government supplied financing in the Chrysler and GM cases, it possessed the creditor control normally exercised by private lenders. The Treasury Department found itself with virtually the same, unchecked power that the FDIC …


Into The Void: Governing Finance In Central & Eastern Europe, Katharina Pistor Jan 2009

Into The Void: Governing Finance In Central & Eastern Europe, Katharina Pistor

Faculty Scholarship

Twenty years after the fall of the iron curtain, which for decades had separated East from West, many countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) are now members of the European Union and some have even adopted the Euro. Their readiness to open their borders to foreign capital and their faith in the viability of market self-governance as well as supra-national governance of finance is both remarkable and almost unprecedented. The eagerness of the countries in CEE to join the West and to become part of a regional and global regime as a way of escaping their closeted socialist past …


Banking Reform In The Chinese Mirror, Katharina Pistor Jan 2009

Banking Reform In The Chinese Mirror, Katharina Pistor

Faculty Scholarship

This paper analyzes the transactions that led to the partial privatization of China’s three largest banks in 2005-06. It suggests that these transactions were structured to allow for inter-organizational learning under conditions of uncertainty. For the involved foreign investors, participation in large financial intermediaries of central importance to the Chinese economy gave them the opportunity to learn about financial governance in China. For the Chinese banks partnering with more than one foreign investor, their participation allowed them to benefit from the input by different players in the global financial market place and to learn from the range of technical and …


The Empagran Exception: Between Illinois Brick And A Hard Place, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2009

The Empagran Exception: Between Illinois Brick And A Hard Place, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

Before it was uncovered and prosecuted, the international vitamin cartel, known as "Vitamins, Inc." by its perpetrators, was extraordinarily successful. Estimates of cartel profits run as high as $18 billion (in 2003 dollars). In addition to substantial criminal sanctions, cartel members paid over $2 billion to American plaintiffs. When foreign plaintiffs tried to sue the foreign defendants in American courts, however, they encountered resistance. A trial court read the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act ("FTAIA") to restrict the reach of the Sherman Act and preclude foreign purchasers from suing the foreign defendants. The D.C. Circuit reversed, holding that the facts …