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Full-Text Articles in Law

Opinion: How Software Stifles Competition And Innovation, James Bessen Oct 2023

Opinion: How Software Stifles Competition And Innovation, James Bessen

Faculty Scholarship

Innovation is not what it used to be, and software is part of the reason. In many industries—industries well beyond Big Tech—dominant firms have built large software-based platforms delivering important consumer benefits, but these platforms also slow the rise of innovative rivals, including productive startups.5 Because access to these platforms is limited, competition has been constrained, creating a troubling market dynamic that slows economic growth.


The Long Shadow Of Inevitable Disclosure, Stacey Dogan, Felicity Slater Apr 2023

The Long Shadow Of Inevitable Disclosure, Stacey Dogan, Felicity Slater

Faculty Scholarship

A growing body of evidence has highlighted the human and economic costs associated with contractual restrictions on employee mobility. News accounts describe abusive use of non-compete clauses to prevent low wage workers from seeking better options. Economists, meanwhile, have demonstrated that innovation and economic dynamism may suffer when employers can easily prevent their employees from changing jobs. While state legislatures have attempted to address these concerns by restricting employers' use of non-compete agreements, the Federal Trade Commission recently announced a plan to prohibit them altogether. As policymakers focus attention on contractual limits on employment mobility, however, a more insidious threat …


Trial Selection And Estimating Damages Equations, Keith N. Hylton Jan 2023

Trial Selection And Estimating Damages Equations, Keith N. Hylton

Faculty Scholarship

Many studies have employed regression analysis with data drawn from court opinions. For example, an analyst might use regression analysis to determine the factors that explain the size of damages awards or the factors that determine the probability that the plaintiff will prevail at trial or on appeal. However, the full potential of multiple regression analysis in legal research has not been realized, largely because of the sample selection problem. We propose a method for controlling for sample selection bias using data from court opinions.


Inflation, Market Failures, And Algorithms, Rory Van Loo Sep 2022

Inflation, Market Failures, And Algorithms, Rory Van Loo

Faculty Scholarship

Inflation is a problem of tremendous scale. But inflation itself is unlikely to cause the greatest economic harm during inflationary periods. Instead, a more likely source of devastation will be policymakers’ response to inflation. Their main anti-inflation tools, most notably increasing interest rates, increase unemployment and the risk of recessions. This Article argues that there is a better approach. Rather than defaulting to interest rate hikes that harm markets, policy makers should prioritize laws that lower prices while improving markets. For decades, businesses have raised prices by manipulating consumers, exercising monopoly power, and lobbying for laws that block competition. Automated …


Can Moral Framing Drive Insurance Enrollment In The Us?, Christopher Robertson, Wendy Netter Epstein, David Yokum, Hansoo Ko, Kevin Wilson, Monica Ramos, Katherine Kettering, Margaret Houtz Aug 2022

Can Moral Framing Drive Insurance Enrollment In The Us?, Christopher Robertson, Wendy Netter Epstein, David Yokum, Hansoo Ko, Kevin Wilson, Monica Ramos, Katherine Kettering, Margaret Houtz

Faculty Scholarship

To encourage health insurance uptake, marketers and policymakers have focused on consumers’ economic self-interest, attempting to show that insurance is a good deal or to sweeten the deal, with subsidies or penalties. Still, some consumers see insurance as a bad deal, either because they rationally exploit private risk information (“adverse selection”), or irrationally misperceive the value due to cognitive biases (e.g., optimism). As a result, about 30 million Americans remain uninsured, including many who could afford it.

At the same time, polling suggests that Americans view health insurance through a moral lens, seeking to protect those with pre-existing conditions especially. …


Chapter 8: Information Technology And The New Capitalism, James Bessen Dec 2021

Chapter 8: Information Technology And The New Capitalism, James Bessen

Faculty Scholarship

Harnessing Digitalization for Sustainable Economic Development: Insights for Asia describes digitalization’s role in raising the productive capacities of economies. It examines how digital transformation can enhance trade, financial inclusion, and firm competitiveness, as well as how greater digital infrastructure investment, internet connectivity, and financial and digital education in the region can maximize digitalization’s economic benefits. It also explains the importance of striking the right balance between the regulation and supervision of financial technology to enable innovation and safeguarding financial stability and consumer protection.

Part I of the book seeks to build an understanding of digitalization’s effects on macroeconomic performance, including …


Cleaning Corporate Governance, Jens Frankenreiter, Cathy Hwang, Yaron Nili, Eric L. Talley Jan 2021

Cleaning Corporate Governance, Jens Frankenreiter, Cathy Hwang, Yaron Nili, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

Although empirical scholarship dominates the field of law and finance, much of it shares a common vulnerability: an abiding faith in the accuracy and integrity of a small, specialized collection of corporate governance data. In this paper, we unveil a novel collection of three decades’ worth of corporate charters for thousands of public companies, which shows that this faith is misplaced.

We make three principal contributions to the literature. First, we label our corpus for a variety of firm- and state-level governance features. Doing so reveals significant infirmities within the most well-known corporate governance datasets, including an error rate exceeding …


Investigating The Contract Production Process, Stephen J. Choi, Robert E. Scott, G. Mitu Gulati Jan 2021

Investigating The Contract Production Process, Stephen J. Choi, Robert E. Scott, G. Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

Contract law and theory have traditionally paid little attention to the processes by which contracts are made. Instead, contracts among sophisticated parties are assumed to be full articulations of the desires of the parties; whatever the process, the outcome is the same. This article compares sovereign debt contracts from US and UK firms, with different production processes, that are trying to do the same thing under very similar legal regimes. We find that that the production process likely matters quite a bit to the final form that contracts take.


Selling Out: An Instrumentalist Theory Of Legal Ethics, Keith N. Hylton Jan 2021

Selling Out: An Instrumentalist Theory Of Legal Ethics, Keith N. Hylton

Faculty Scholarship

Legal ethics has received attention mostly from scholars who view it as a field for the application of moral philosophy. However, economic analysis is also useful in the study of legal ethics, because it can illuminate the incentives that generate ethical dilemmas and controversies. This is especially true in the subfield this paper devotes its attention to, lawyer conflict of interest rules. The problem I focus on is the incentive of the lawyer to "sell out" his client-for example, by providing confidential information to a potential adversary or by providing legal misinformation to the client in order to aid the …


Copyright And Parody: Touring The Certainties Of Intellectual Property And Restitution, Wendy J. Gordon Jan 2021

Copyright And Parody: Touring The Certainties Of Intellectual Property And Restitution, Wendy J. Gordon

Faculty Scholarship

The essay that follows examines the boundary between two sets of rules. The first set arises under the law of Restitution, particularly the rule that volunteers ordinarily need not be rewarded. (Another way to state this same Restitution rule is to say that the retention of benefit voluntarily conferred is ordinarily not "unjust enrichment".) The second set of rules are those of Intellectual Property law, which creates property in a special kind of volunteer. My argument is simply that the law of Restitution leads almost directly to the law of Intellectual Property, though the two areas are premised on diametrically …


Evidence Supporting The Value Of Surgical Procedures: Can We Do Better?, Christopher Robertson, Jonathan Darrow, Willard S. Kasoff Dec 2020

Evidence Supporting The Value Of Surgical Procedures: Can We Do Better?, Christopher Robertson, Jonathan Darrow, Willard S. Kasoff

Faculty Scholarship

There is an acknowledged need for higher-quality evidence to quantify the benefit of surgical procedures, yet not enough has been done to improve the evidence base. This lack of evidence can prevent fully informed decision-making, lead to unnecessary or even harmful treatment, and contribute to wasteful expenditures of scare health care resources. Barriers to evidence generation include not only the long-recognized technical difficulties and ethical challenges of conducting randomized surgical trials, but also legal challenges that limit incentives to conduct surgical research as well as market-based challenges that make it difficult for those funding surgical research to recoup investment costs. …


What Do Lawyers Contribute To Law & Economics?, Robert E. Scott, George G. Triantis Jan 2020

What Do Lawyers Contribute To Law & Economics?, Robert E. Scott, George G. Triantis

Faculty Scholarship

The law-and-economics movement has transformed the analysis of private law in the United States and, increasingly, around the world. As the field developed from 1970 to the early 2000s, scholars have developed countless insights about the operation and effects of law and legal institutions. Throughout this period, the discipline of law-and-economics has benefited from a partnership among trained economists and academic lawyers. Yet the tools that are used derive primarily from economics and not law. A logical question thus demands attention: what role do academic lawyers play in law-and-economics scholarship? In this Essay, we offer an interpretive theory of the …


The Problems With Decision-Making, Joanna K. Sax Jan 2020

The Problems With Decision-Making, Joanna K. Sax

Faculty Scholarship

Our society faces major challenges in numerous areas, including climate change and healthcare. Addressing these problems with technological advances are of great importance. Increasingly, however, consumers are resisting or rejecting such technological interventions based on inappropriate assignment of risk. In other words, the consumer assessment of risk is not in line with evidence-based assessment of risk. This article focuses on two controversial areas, vaccines and genetically engineered food, as examples in which consumers assign a high risk despite an evidence-based assessment of low risk. This article describes how empirically tested decision-making theories explain why consumers inappropriately assign risk. While these …


Response To Oliar And Stern: On Duration, The Idea/Expression Dichotomy, And Time, Wendy J. Gordon Jan 2020

Response To Oliar And Stern: On Duration, The Idea/Expression Dichotomy, And Time, Wendy J. Gordon

Faculty Scholarship

Courts often use possession to determine who should own unclaimed resources. Yet, as Oliar and Stern demonstrate, the concept of possession is little more than a metaphor, capable of being applied to a broad range of phenomena. The authors helpfully deploy “time” as a metric to sort through the rules determining what should count as possession, and they survey the likely costs and benefits attached to choosing earlier versus later events as triggers for acquiring title.

With those tools in hand, Oliar and Stern employ “time” and the analogy of physical possession to address problems in copyright, patent, and trademark …


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. While this approach, …


A Critique Of The Uniquely Adversarial Nature Of The U.S. Legal, Economic And Political System And Its Implications For Reinforcing Existing Power Hierarchies, James D. Wilets, Areto A. Imoukhuede Jan 2017

A Critique Of The Uniquely Adversarial Nature Of The U.S. Legal, Economic And Political System And Its Implications For Reinforcing Existing Power Hierarchies, James D. Wilets, Areto A. Imoukhuede

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Bargaining Failure And Failure To Bargain, Michael J. Meurer May 2016

Bargaining Failure And Failure To Bargain, Michael J. Meurer

Faculty Scholarship

In this talk I want to do four things. First, I’m going to present a motivating example, and second I will discuss what causes IP litigation. I want to distinguish between bargaining failure and failure to bargain ex ante. This is the descriptive portion of my project, and the message is really pretty simple. In law and economics, we think a lot about why people who have a dispute, who sit cross from each other at a table, fail to do the efficient thing, which is to stay out of the courtroom and avoid incurring litigation costs. Law and economics …


Beyond Lifestyle: Governing The Social Determinants Of Health, Wendy K. Mariner Jan 2016

Beyond Lifestyle: Governing The Social Determinants Of Health, Wendy K. Mariner

Faculty Scholarship

Non-communicable and chronic diseases have overtaken infectious diseases as the major causes of death and disability around the world. Despite recognition that reduction in the chronic disease burden will require governance systems to address the social determinants of health, most public health recommendations emphasize individual behavior as the primary cause of illness and the target of intervention. This Article argues that focusing on lifestyle can backfire, by increasing health inequities and inviting human rights violations. If States fail to take meaningful steps to alter the social and economic structures that create health risks and encourage unhealthy behavior, health at the …


Free Trade Then And Now, Or Still Manchester United, Maimon Schwarzschild Oct 2015

Free Trade Then And Now, Or Still Manchester United, Maimon Schwarzschild

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Mortgaging The Meme: Financing And Managing Disruptive Innovation, Jon M. Garon May 2015

Mortgaging The Meme: Financing And Managing Disruptive Innovation, Jon M. Garon

Faculty Scholarship

Traditional financing of innovative companies emphasizes the use of patents and associated intellectual property rights to secure debt and provide assets for valuation. Although the model suffices for incremental innovation, it does not account for investments in disruptive innovation, those that undermine traditional business models, supply chains or industry relationships.

Disruptive innovation can be described as the introduction of a new conceptual idea or meme into an existing system that causes the system to be fundamentally altered. Assembly lines, air conditioning, digital film, and personal computers represent such innovations, all of which led to fundamental paradigm shifts.

The convergence of …


Capital's Offense: Law's Entrenchment Of Inequality, Frank A. Pasquale Oct 2014

Capital's Offense: Law's Entrenchment Of Inequality, Frank A. Pasquale

Faculty Scholarship

Reviewing Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Harvard University Press, 2014)

Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century is a rare scholarly achievement. It weaves together description and prescription, facts and values, economics, politics, and history, with an assured and graceful touch. So clear is Piketty’s reasoning, and so compelling the enormous data apparatus he brings to bear, that few can doubt he has fundamentally altered our appreciation of the scope, duration, and intensity of inequality. This review explains Piketty’s analysis and its relevance to law and social theory, drawing lessons for the re-emerging field of political economy.

The university …


Paternalism, Public Health, And Behavioral Economics: A Problematic Combination, Wendy K. Mariner Jul 2014

Paternalism, Public Health, And Behavioral Economics: A Problematic Combination, Wendy K. Mariner

Faculty Scholarship

Some critiques of public health regulations assume that measures directed at industry should be considered paternalistic whenever they limit any consumer choices. Given the presumption against paternalistic measures, this conception of paternalism puts government proposals to regulate industry to the same stringent proof as clearly paternalist proposals to directly regulate individuals for their own benefit. The result is to discourage regulating industry in ways that protect the public from harm and instead to encourage regulating individuals for their own good -- quite the opposite of what one would expect from a rejection of paternalism. Arguments favoring "soft paternalism" to justify …


Coasean Bargaining In Consumer Bankruptcy, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2014

Coasean Bargaining In Consumer Bankruptcy, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

During my first weeks as a graduate student in economics, a professor described the Coase Theorem as “nearly a tautology:” Assume a world in which bargaining is costless. If there are gains from trade, the Theorem tells us, the parties will trade. The initial assignment of property rights will not affect the final allocation because the parties will bargain (costlessly) to an efficient outcome. “How can that be a theorem?,” I remember thinking at the time.


Notice Failure And Notice Externalities, Michael J. Meurer, Peter Menell Apr 2013

Notice Failure And Notice Externalities, Michael J. Meurer, Peter Menell

Faculty Scholarship

Economic theory suggests that notice plays a critical role in resource development. Resource developers will be disinclined to make significant investments without reasonable confidence that their projects will not violate the rights of others. Land rights systems and institutions generally provide reliable notice at relatively modest cost, enabling exclusionary rights to encourage efficient real estate development. Property boundaries, right structures, and neighbors with whom resource developers might have to negotiate conflicts can usually be ascertained relatively easily. Furthermore, zoning institutions generally provide relatively prompt, low cost, and reliable dispute resolution before developers need to expend substantial resources. Therefore, land claims …


The Legacy Of Jane Larson: The Politics Of Practicality And Surprise, Martha M. Ertman Jan 2013

The Legacy Of Jane Larson: The Politics Of Practicality And Surprise, Martha M. Ertman

Faculty Scholarship

Jane Larson's work and life enriched my own and others. Her intellectual framework - applying legal economic ideas of consent to feminist theory, backed up by legal history - suggest surprising practical solutions to problems ranging from the injuries of adultery and prostitution to housing in border towns.


The Mythology Of Game Theory, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Mark Turner, Nick Weller Jan 2012

The Mythology Of Game Theory, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Mark Turner, Nick Weller

Faculty Scholarship

Non-cooperative game theory is at its heart a theory of cognition, specifically a theory of how decisions are made. Game theory's leverage is that we can design different payoffs, settings, player arrays, action possibilities, and information structures, and that these differences lead to different strategies, outcomes, and equilibria. It is well-known that, in experimental settings, people do not adopt the predicted strategies, outcomes, and equilibria. The standard response to this mismatch of prediction and observation is to add various psychological axioms to the game-theoretic framework. Regardless of the differing specific proposals and results, game theory uniformly makes certain cognitive assumptions …


The Private And Social Costs Of Patent Trolls, Michael J. Meurer, James Bessen, Jennifer Ford Jan 2012

The Private And Social Costs Of Patent Trolls, Michael J. Meurer, James Bessen, Jennifer Ford

Faculty Scholarship

The emergence of nonpracticing entities (NPEs) — firms that purchase and hold patent rights but neither innovate themselves nor use the patents in the production of goods — is supposed to incentivize innovation by providing a ready market for innovators. We test this idea empirically and find that NPEs produce little returns for innovators or for their own shareholders, but they place significant costs on productive firms that violate patents inadvertently. Indeed, it appears that NPEs — often disparagingly called “patent trolls” — discourage productive firms from innovating for fear that they will then be subject to a patent troll …


Contracts As Organizations, D. Gordon Smith, Brayden G. King Mar 2011

Contracts As Organizations, D. Gordon Smith, Brayden G. King

Faculty Scholarship

Empirical studies of contracts have become more common over the past decade, but the range of questions addressed by these studies is narrow, inspired primarily by economic theories that focus on the role of contracts in mitigating ex post opportunism. We contend that these economic theories do not adequately explain many commonly observed features of contracts, and we offer four organizational theories to supplement-and in some instances, perhaps, challenge-the dominant economic accounts. The purpose of this Article is threefold: first, to describe how theoretical perspectives on contracting have motivated empirical work on contracts; second, to highlight the dominant role of …


Designing Incentives For Inexpert Human Raters, Daniel L. Chen, John J. Horton, Aaron D. Shaw Jan 2011

Designing Incentives For Inexpert Human Raters, Daniel L. Chen, John J. Horton, Aaron D. Shaw

Faculty Scholarship

The emergence of online labor markets makes it far easier to use individual human raters to evaluate materials for data collection and analysis in the social sciences. In this paper, we report the results of an experiment - conducted in an online labor market - that measured the effectiveness of a collection of social and financial incentive schemes for motivating workers to conduct a qualitative, content analysis task. Overall, workers performed better than chance, but results varied considerably depending on task difficulty. We find that treatment conditions which asked workers to prospectively think about the responses of their peers - …


Economic Crisis And Share Price Unpredictability: Reasons And Implications, Edward G. Fox, Merritt B. Fox, Ronald J. Gilson Jan 2011

Economic Crisis And Share Price Unpredictability: Reasons And Implications, Edward G. Fox, Merritt B. Fox, Ronald J. Gilson

Faculty Scholarship

The volatility of share returns for individual companies increased sharply during the recent financial crisis. The larger part of this increase was due to a dramatic rise – five fold as measured by variance – in idiosyncratic risk. We find that this pattern repeats itself during each major economic reversal going back 85 years. Because idiosyncratic risk is what is involved, this increase cannot be explained by changes in predictions concerning the future course of the economy as a whole.

Our first goal is to explain why difficult economic times, which are defined in terms of market wide phenomena, make …