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Full-Text Articles in Law

Consumer Law’S Equity Gap, Vijay Raghavan Aug 2022

Consumer Law’S Equity Gap, Vijay Raghavan

Utah Law Review

This Article is about the views that shape and constrain the development of consumer law. Consider the market for short-term, highcost loans. Policymakers tend to justify intervening in these markets on inefficiency grounds (consumers exhibit present bias) and rarely on equitable grounds (these loans cost too much). Why? One recent explanation suggests that policymakers may focus on inefficiency because they believe access to credit is essential for social and economic development. In this Article, I offer an alternative explanation. The lack of equity in consumer law is not just a function of narrow conceptions internal to consumer law but the …


Distributional Arguments, In Reverse, Alex Raskolnikov Jan 2021

Distributional Arguments, In Reverse, Alex Raskolnikov

Faculty Scholarship

This Article contends that the government should consider – rather than ignore – distributional consequences both in the design of legal rules and during legal transitions. This does not mean that the distributional effect of every legal rule should be measured and taken into account in the rule’s design. But if the likely distributional effects are unintended, large, and objectionable, if the efficiency of the legal rule is doubtful, if the compensating tax-and-transfer adjustment is not forthcoming (or has not occurred), policymakers should take distribution into account. One way of doing so is to choose among several alternative legal rules …


Broadening Consumer Law: Competition, Protection, And Distribution, Rory Van Loo Nov 2019

Broadening Consumer Law: Competition, Protection, And Distribution, Rory Van Loo

Faculty Scholarship

Policymakers and scholars have in distributional conversations traditionally ignored consumer laws, defined as the set of consumer protection, antitrust, and entry barrier laws that govern consumer transactions. Consumer law is overlooked partly because tax law is cast as the most efficient way to redistribute. Another obstacle is that consumer law research speaks to microeconomic and siloed contexts—deceptive fees by Wells Fargo or a proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Even removing millions of dollars of deceptive credit card fees across the nation seems trivial compared to the trillion-dollar growth in income inequality that has sparked concern in recent …


The Law And Economics Of Redistribution, Matthew Dimick Oct 2019

The Law And Economics Of Redistribution, Matthew Dimick

Journal Articles

Should legal rules be used to redistribute income? Or should income taxation be the exclusive means for reducing income inequality? This article reviews the legal scholarship on this question. First, it traces how the most widely cited argument in favor of using taxes exclusively--Kaplow & Shavell's (1994) double-distortion argument--evolved from previous debates about whether legal rules could even be redistributive and whether law and economics should be concerned exclusively with efficiency or with distribution as well. Next, it surveys the responses to the double-distortion argument. These responses appear to have had only limited success in challenging the sturdy reputation of …


Models Of Other-Regarding Preferences And Redistribution, Matthew Dimick, David Rueda, Daniel Stegmueller May 2018

Models Of Other-Regarding Preferences And Redistribution, Matthew Dimick, David Rueda, Daniel Stegmueller

Journal Articles

Despite the increasing popularity of comparative work on other-regarding preferences, the implications of different models of altruism are not always fully understood. This article analyzes different theoretical approaches to altruism and explores what empirical conclusions we should draw from them, paying particular attention to models of redistribution preferences where inequality explicitly triggers other-regarding motives for redistribution. While the main contribution of this article is to clarify the conclusions of these models, we also illustrate the importance of their distinct implications by analyzing Western European data to compare among them. We draw on individual-level data from the European Social Survey fielded …


Corporate Governance As Privately-Ordered Public Policy: A Proposal, Lynn A. Stout, Sergio Alberto Gramitto Ricci Jan 2018

Corporate Governance As Privately-Ordered Public Policy: A Proposal, Lynn A. Stout, Sergio Alberto Gramitto Ricci

Faculty Works

In this Article, we show how our society can use corporate governance shifts to address, if not entirely resolve, a number of currently pressing social and economic problems. These problems include: rising income inequality; demographic disparities in wealth and equity ownership; increasing poverty and income insecurity; a need for greater innovation and investment in solving problems like disease and climate change; the “externalization” of many costs of corporate activity onto third parties such as customers, employees, creditors, and the broader society; the corrosive influence of corporate money in politics; and discontent and loss of trust in the capitalist system among …


Framing Middle-Class Insecurity: Tax And The Ideology Of Unequal Economic Growth, Martha T. Mccluskey Nov 2017

Framing Middle-Class Insecurity: Tax And The Ideology Of Unequal Economic Growth, Martha T. Mccluskey

Martha T. McCluskey

Prevailing tax discourse rationalizes growing economic inequality. Using the example of state and local economic development “subsidy wars,” this article explores how conventional tax ideas present unequal sacrifice and risk as a public responsibility, driven by economic fact rather than unjust politics. Over the last several decades, one contributing cause of inequality has been the escalating tax and spending incentives offered by local governments to attract private business investment. This competition operates to favor wealthy corporations over small businesses, without producing broad or lasting economic gains to communities, and it erodes resources for public education, infrastructure, social services, health care, …


Antitrust Policy And Inequality Of Wealth, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Oct 2017

Antitrust Policy And Inequality Of Wealth, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

All Faculty Scholarship

Why would anyone want to use antitrust law as a wealth distribution device when far more explicit statutory tools are available for that purpose? One feature of antitrust is its open-textured, nonspecific statutes that are interpreted by judges. As a result, using antitrust to redistribute wealth may be a way of invoking the judicial process without having to go to Congress or a state legislature that is likely to be unsympathetic. Of course, a corollary is that someone attempting to use antitrust law to redistribute wealth will have to rely on the existing antitrust statutes rather than obtaining a new …


Pericles Revived: Proposing Citizen Payments For Social Media Usage, Alexander Jason Breindel Jan 2017

Pericles Revived: Proposing Citizen Payments For Social Media Usage, Alexander Jason Breindel

Senior Projects Spring 2017

Senior Project submitted to The Division of Social Studies of Bard College.


Framing Middle-Class Insecurity: Tax And The Ideology Of Unequal Economic Growth, Martha T. Mccluskey May 2016

Framing Middle-Class Insecurity: Tax And The Ideology Of Unequal Economic Growth, Martha T. Mccluskey

Journal Articles

Prevailing tax discourse rationalizes growing economic inequality. Using the example of state and local economic development “subsidy wars,” this article explores how conventional tax ideas present unequal sacrifice and risk as a public responsibility, driven by economic fact rather than unjust politics.

Over the last several decades, one contributing cause of inequality has been the escalating tax and spending incentives offered by local governments to attract private business investment. This competition operates to favor wealthy corporations over small businesses, without producing broad or lasting economic gains to communities, and it erodes resources for public education, infrastructure, social services, health care, …


Personal Responsibility For Systemic Inequality, Martha T. Mccluskey Nov 2015

Personal Responsibility For Systemic Inequality, Martha T. Mccluskey

Contributions to Books

Published as Chapter 15 in Research Handbook on Political Economy and Law, Ugo Mattei & John D. Haskell, eds.

Equality has faded as a guiding ideal for legal theory and policy. An updated message of personal responsibility has helped rationalize economic policies fostering increased inequality and insecurity. In this revised message, economic “losers” should take personal responsibility not only for the harmful effects of their individual economic decisions, but also for the harmful effects of systemic failures beyond their individual control or action. In response to the 2008 financial crisis, this re-tooled message of personal responsibility promoted mass austerity in …


Grounding Land Reform: Toward A Market-Compatible Approach To Land Reform, Shelley Cavalieri Nov 2015

Grounding Land Reform: Toward A Market-Compatible Approach To Land Reform, Shelley Cavalieri

St. John's Law Review

(Excerpt)

This Article begins the project of constructing a unified account of land reform. This model consists of two central aspects. First, it articulates a set of goals, both practical and expressive, that redistributive land reform efforts can forward. Second, it offers a pragmatic theory of land reform, one that simultaneously achieves the progressive, poverty-eradication goals of land reform proponents and satisfies neoliberal demand for stable land markets. In this regard, the project offers a fresh way of thinking of the intractable conflict in land reform policy: how to redistribute land without destabilizing the nation. In addressing this problem, the …


Look Away Dixieland: The South And The Federal Income Tax, Robin L. Einhorn Jan 2015

Look Away Dixieland: The South And The Federal Income Tax, Robin L. Einhorn

Northwestern University Law Review

No abstract provided.


Property Outlaws, Eduardo Peñalver, Sonia Katyal Nov 2014

Property Outlaws, Eduardo Peñalver, Sonia Katyal

Eduardo M. Peñalver

Most people do not hold those who intentionally flout property laws in particularly high regard. The overridingly negative view of the property lawbreaker as a wrong-doer comports with the nearly sacrosanct status of property rights within our characteristically individualist, capitalist, political culture. This dim view of property lawbreakers is also shared to a large degree by property theorists, many of whom regard property rights as a fixed constellation of allocative entitlements that collectively produce stability and order through ownership. In this Article, we seek to rehabilitate, at least to a degree, the maligned character of the intentional property lawbreaker, and …


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 …


Lost At Sea, Daniela Caruso Jul 2014

Lost At Sea, Daniela Caruso

Faculty Scholarship

A reflection on the existential loss experienced by many young persons in the aftermath of the Euro-zone crisis (often referred to as ‘the lost generation’) must also acknowledge, for the record and for reasons of relative salience, those who have recently drowned in the waters of southern Europe in their quest for a better future. This essay proposes to reconsider, for a moment, the relation between the obstacles that third country nationals (TNCs) encounter at our external frontiers and the increasing permeability of internal EU borders. Normally, one thinks of the two as structurally opposed: within its boundaries, the EU …


Mr. Dooley And Mr. Gallup: Public Opinion And Constitutional Change In The 1930s, Barry Cushman Apr 2014

Mr. Dooley And Mr. Gallup: Public Opinion And Constitutional Change In The 1930s, Barry Cushman

Barry Cushman

Scholars interested in the development of political and constitutional culture during the 1930s sometimes draw inferences about popular preferences on various issues of social and economic policy from the results of presidential and congressional elections. A review of contemporary public opinion polls taken by George Gallup for the American Institute of Public Opinion and by Elmo Roper for the Fortune Magazine survey offers a more granular understanding of popular views on the public policy issues of the day. This article canvasses all of the public opinion polls taken by Gallup and Roper between 1935, when they began publishing their results, …


Retreat From Progressive Taxation In The Swedish Welfare State: Does Immigration Matter?, Henry Ordower Jan 2014

Retreat From Progressive Taxation In The Swedish Welfare State: Does Immigration Matter?, Henry Ordower

All Faculty Scholarship

This paper questions whether late twentieth century immigration patterns may have contributed to retreat from progressive taxation in Sweden (and elsewhere). The paper applies critical methodology to ask whether the societal generosity reflected in development of Sweden’s welfare state yielded to greater parsimony as Sweden opened its borders to ethnically and racially diverse groups of immigrants. The paper explores whether Sweden’s loss of societal homogeneity facilitated the development of a political climate in which protecting traditional Scandinavian-owned capital from taxation became acceptable. Social science literature already has detected various unintentional ethnic and gender biases in delivery of welfare services and …


Unseating Privilege: Rawls, Equality Of Opportunity, And Wealth Transfer Taxation, Jennifer Bird-Pollan Oct 2013

Unseating Privilege: Rawls, Equality Of Opportunity, And Wealth Transfer Taxation, Jennifer Bird-Pollan

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

This Article is the second in a series that examines the estate tax from a particular philosophical position in order to demonstrate the relevance and importance of the wealth transfer taxes to that position. In this Article, I explore Rawlsian equality of opportunity, a philosophical position that is at the heart of much American thought. Equality of opportunity requires not only ensuring that sufficient opportunities are available to the least well-off members of society but also that opportunities are not available to other members merely because of their wealth or other arbitrary advantages. Therefore, an income tax alone, even one …


Property Rights Arrangement In Emerging Natural Resources: A Case Study Of China’S Nationalization Of Wind And Sunlight, Jianlin Chen, Jiongzhe Cui Jan 2013

Property Rights Arrangement In Emerging Natural Resources: A Case Study Of China’S Nationalization Of Wind And Sunlight, Jianlin Chen, Jiongzhe Cui

Jianlin Chen

The passage of the Heilongjiang Province Regulation on Climate Resources Survey and Protection (the “Regulation”) that regulates wind and solar energy generation sparked a public furor because it contains a provision that stipulates, “climate resources are owned by the state.” As a case study of this regulatory attempt to manage emerging natural resources, this Article makes the following three arguments. First, the “nationalization” provision in the Regulation is legally compatible with Chinese law that conceives of public property as state-owned property and not as property that requires public access. Second, a clear designation of the state as the manager of …


Death, Taxes, And Property (Rights): Nozick, Libertarianism, And The Estate Tax, Jennifer Bird-Pollan Jan 2013

Death, Taxes, And Property (Rights): Nozick, Libertarianism, And The Estate Tax, Jennifer Bird-Pollan

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

The primary purpose of this Article is to dispute the moral claims to post-death property rights made by libertarians when they argue against the estate tax. As I will show later in this Article, my argument does not necessarily entail enacting an estate tax, nor does it require a particular level of tax. I am merely trying to demonstrate that those who argue that the estate tax is an immoral violation of the private property rights of the deceased are mistaken. This is not to say that the estate of the deceased should necessarily pass to the government. It is …


The Normative Underpinnings Of Taxation, Sagit Leviner Oct 2012

The Normative Underpinnings Of Taxation, Sagit Leviner

Nevada Law Journal

No abstract provided.


The Political Economy Of Taxation: A Critical Review Of A Classic, Nancy Staudt Jan 2010

The Political Economy Of Taxation: A Critical Review Of A Classic, Nancy Staudt

Faculty Working Papers

This book review reexamines Henry Simons famous contribution to the tax policy literature, "Personal Income Taxation: The Definition of Income as Problem in Fiscal Policy" (1938). It argues that while Professor Simons was concerned with tax fairness and the redistribution of income, he adopted a definition of income that worked to undermine the interests of many of the poor individuals in society that he sought to support.


Just Talking With The Furniture, Emily A. Hartigan Jan 2010

Just Talking With The Furniture, Emily A. Hartigan

Faculty Articles

The current social and political situation of the United States is post-modern, post-colonial, post-critical, and post-secular. It is located in a two-party system in which the substantive values of the population are radically fragmented. As such, American social and political culture needs new prospects for conversation, both about and constituting justice, which can cross the vast differences between its members. It is time to enter a discourse on substantive justice in a way that uses the imagined unity of modernist thought as a way station for something both old and new.


Things Fall Apart: The Illegitimacy Of Property Rights In The Context Of Past Theft, Bernadette Atuahene Oct 2009

Things Fall Apart: The Illegitimacy Of Property Rights In The Context Of Past Theft, Bernadette Atuahene

All Faculty Scholarship

In many states, past property theft is a volatile political issue that threatens to destabilize nascent democracies. How does a state avoid instability when past property theft causes a significant number of people to believe that the property distribution is illegitimate? To explore this question, I first define legitimacy relying on an empirical understanding of the concept. Second, I establish the relationship between inequality, illegitimate property distribution, and instability. Third, I describe the three ways a state can achieve stability when faced with an illegitimate property distribution: by using its coercive powers, by attempting to change people’s beliefs about the …


Land Reform As Social Justice: The Case Of South Africa, Karol C. Boudreaux Oct 2009

Land Reform As Social Justice: The Case Of South Africa, Karol C. Boudreaux

Karol C. Boudreaux

In his book Law, Legislation and Liberty, F.A. Hayek takes the concept of social justice to task, but argues that when governments (or other organizations) violate people’s rights by imposing discriminatory laws intervention may be necessary to correct the situation. How might such guidance shape real-world policy? As a result of a very long history of discriminatory legislation, black South Africans suffered substantial harms at the hands of past governments. Following the political transition in 1994, the new government implemented land reforms policies designed, in part, to satisfy calls for social justice. This article examines these policies and suggests that …


Who's Afraid Of Redistribution? An Analysis Of The Earned Income Tax Credit, Jennifer Bird-Pollan Apr 2009

Who's Afraid Of Redistribution? An Analysis Of The Earned Income Tax Credit, Jennifer Bird-Pollan

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

In the 2008 Presidential campaign, the American public was reminded time and again of the differences in the economic policies of the nominees: John McCain would cut taxes, and Barack Obama would raise them, although only on those earning over $250,000. In the final days of the campaign, the McCain camp accused Obama of proposing “redistribution,” and the Obama camp quickly denied that description. So why do presidential candidates run so quickly from the r-word? McCain’s senior policy advisor equated redistribution with socialism, but redistribution, in the form of the federal income tax system, is a central tenet of American …


Who's Afraid Of Redistribution - An Analysis Of The Earned Income Tax Credit, Jennifer Bird-Pollan Apr 2009

Who's Afraid Of Redistribution - An Analysis Of The Earned Income Tax Credit, Jennifer Bird-Pollan

Missouri Law Review

One central element of the American version of redistribution comes in the form of the Earned Income Tax Credit (the "EITC"). In his campaign platform, Barack Obama vowed to expand the EITC, making it available to more taxpayers than ever before. Given the outcome of the 2008 election, and President Obama's seeming commitment to the tenets of redistribution (despite his disavowal of the word) and his express promise to expand the reach of the EITC, as well as the recent changes to the EITC introduced by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the "ARRA"), it seems a perfect …


Property And Freedom, Benjamin Barros Jan 2009

Property And Freedom, Benjamin Barros

Benjamin Barros

Private property is often defended on the basis that it promotes individual freedom. Discussion of this subject has typically taken place in the context of contentious debates over the legitimacy of government interference with private property, especially government regulation of land use and redistributive taxation. Pro-property, anti-interference advocates tend to suggest that there is a strong relationship between property and freedom. Those on the other side of the debate tend to be more skeptical. The political philosopher G.A. Cohen, for example, has asserted that "the familiar idea that private property and freedom are conceptually connected is an ideological illusion."

In …


Things Fall Apart: The Illegitimacy Of Property Rights In The Context Of Past Theft, Bernadette Atuahene Dec 2008

Things Fall Apart: The Illegitimacy Of Property Rights In The Context Of Past Theft, Bernadette Atuahene

Bernadette Atuahene

In many states, past property theft is a volatile political issue that threatens to destabilize nascent democracies. How does a state avoid instability when past property theft causes a significant number of people to believe that the property distribution is illegitimate? To explore this question, I first define legitimacy relying on an empirical understanding of the concept. Second, I establish the relationship between inequality, illegitimate property distribution, and instability. Third, I describe the three ways a state can achieve stability when faced with an illegitimate property distribution: by using its coercive powers, by attempting to change people’s beliefs about the …