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Full-Text Articles in Law

Price Gouging In A Pandemic, Christopher Buccafusco, Daniel Jacob Hemel, Eric L. Talley Jan 2021

Price Gouging In A Pandemic, Christopher Buccafusco, Daniel Jacob Hemel, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has led to acute supply shortages across the country as well as concerns over price increases amid surging demand. In the process, it has reawakened a debate about whether and how to regulate “price gouging.” Animating this controversy is a longstanding conflict between laissez-faire economics (which champions price fluctuations as a means to allocate scarce goods) and perceived norms of consumer fairness (which are thought to cut strongly against sharp price hikes amid shortages). This article provides a new, empirically grounded perspective on the price gouging debate that challenges several aspects of conventional wisdom. We report ...


Economic Individualism And Preference Formation, Andrzej Rapaczynski Jan 2018

Economic Individualism And Preference Formation, Andrzej Rapaczynski

Faculty Scholarship

This note examines some issues involved in an attempt to go beyond the assumption, long-made by most economists, that people’s preferences are simply to be treated as “given” and that the principle of consumer sovereignty entails a refusal to consider some (or some people’s) revealed preferences as more authoritative than others. The most important break with that assumption has been the development of behavioral economics, which shows that people may not always know what they really want, and that economists have to develop a more critical approach, distinguishing people’s true preferences from those that are merely apparent ...


Value Creation By Business Lawyers In The 21st Century, Ronald J. Gilson Jan 2014

Value Creation By Business Lawyers In The 21st Century, Ronald J. Gilson

Faculty Scholarship

It’s a delight to be here. When I started working on Value Creation by Business Lawyers – or when I was in law school – we could have held today’s meeting in a telephone booth. There was nothing even remotely in the curriculum. Victor Brudney and Marvin Chirlestien’s Corporate Finance book was still in mimeograph form – note the dated technology reference. David Herwitz’s Business Planning book had been around for a while, but it was strictly legal. And that exhausted it. What I take the greatest pleasure from is the fact that a number of years later, enough ...


The Republic Of Choosing: A Behaviorist Goes To Washington, William H. Simon Jan 2013

The Republic Of Choosing: A Behaviorist Goes To Washington, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

Cass Sunstein’s book Simpler recounts the author’s efforts during his tenure in the first Obama administration to apply the policy tools he helped derive from behavioral economics. In this review, I suggest that, while Sunstein reports some notable achievements, he exaggerates the utility of the behaviorist toolkit. Behaviorist-inspired interventions are marginal to most of the largest policy problems, and they played little role in the Obama administration’s most important initiatives. The book also reflects a misguided political strategy.


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 adverse event ...


"Contracting" For Credit, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2006

"Contracting" For Credit, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

On a recent day, I used my credit cards in connection with a number of minor transactions. I made eight purchases, and I paid two credit card bills. I also discarded (without opening) three solicitations for new cards, balance transfer programs, or other similar offers to extend credit via a credit card. Statistics suggest that I am not atypical. U.S. consumers last year used credit cards in about 100 purchasing transactions per capita, with an average value of about $70. At the end of the year, Americans owed nearly $500 billion dollars, in the range of $1,800 for ...


"Contracting" For Credit, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2005

"Contracting" For Credit, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

Credit card transactions might be at once the most perilous and least regulated consumer credit transaction. The relative lack of regulation is surprising considering the way consumers use cards in payment and borrowing markets. Card agreements have many of the traditional shortcomings associated with standardized financial contracts. They are lengthy and detailed. They conceal terms of economic import. They are complex. They use technical language requiring an advanced understanding of legal and financial concepts. Moreover, the agreements define a transactional structure that plays into several common behavioral biases, which unite to desensitize consumers to the risks of borrowing. Card agreements ...


Endowment Effects Within Corporate Agency Relationships, Jennifer H. Arlen, Matthew L. Spitzer, Eric L. Talley Jan 2002

Endowment Effects Within Corporate Agency Relationships, Jennifer H. Arlen, Matthew L. Spitzer, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

Behavioral economics is an increasingly prominent field within corporate law scholarship. A particularly noteworthy behavioral bias is the "endowment effect" – the observed differential between an individual's willingness to pay to obtain an entitlement and her willingness to accept to part with one. Should endowment effects pervade corporate contexts, they would significantly complicate much common wisdom within business law, such as the presumed optimality of ex ante agreements. Existing research, however, does not adequately address the extent to which people manifest endowment effects within agency relationships. This article presents an experimental test for endowment effects for subjects situated in an ...