New Economics Papers
on Law and Economics
Issue of 2006‒09‒03
three papers chosen by
Jeong-Joon Lee, Towson University

  1. First Do No Harm?: Tort Reform and Birth Outcomes By Janet Currie; W. Bentley MacLeod
  2. Sovereign debt restructuring : the Judge, the vultures and creditor rights By Miller, Marcus; Thomas, Dania
  3. Competition, Innovation and Racing for Priority at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office By Linda R. Cohen; Jun Ishii

  1. By: Janet Currie; W. Bentley MacLeod
    Abstract: We examine the impact of tort reforms using U.S. birth records for 1989-2001. We make four contributions: First, we develop a model that analyzes the incentives created by specific tort reforms. Second, we assemble new data on tort reform. Third, we examine a range of outcomes. Finally, we allow for differential effects by demographic/risk group. We find that reforms of the "deep pockets rule" reduce complications of labor and C-sections, while caps on noneconomic damages increase them. Our results demonstrate there are important interactions between incentives created by tort law and other incentives facing physicians.
    JEL: I12 I18 K13
    Date: 2006–08
  2. By: Miller, Marcus (Department of Economics, CEPR and CSGR, University of Warwick); Thomas, Dania (CSGR, University of Warwick)
    Abstract: What role did the US courts play in the Argentine debt swap of 2005? What implications does this have for the future of creditor rights in sovereign bond markets? The judge in the Argentine case has, it appears, deftly exploited creditor heterogeneity – between holdouts seeking capital gains and institutional investors wanting a settlement – to promote a swap with a supermajority of creditors. Our analysis of Argentine debt litigation reveals a ‘judge-mediated’ sovereign debt restructuring, which resolves the key issues of Transition and Aggregation - two of the tasks envisaged for the IMF’s still-born Sovereign Debt Restructuring Mechanism. For the future, we discuss how judge-mediated sovereign debt restructuring (together with creditor committees) could complement the alternative promoted by the US Treasury, namely collective action clauses in sovereign bond contracts
    Keywords: Sovereign debt crises ; debt restructuring ; holdout creditors ; collective action clauses
    JEL: F34 K41 K49
    Date: 2006
  3. By: Linda R. Cohen (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine); Jun Ishii (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)
    Abstract: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office resolves patent priority disputes in patent interference cases. Using a random sample of cases declared between 1988 and 1994, we establish a connection between patent interferences and patent races, and then use the data to consider some key issues in dynamic competition and innovation. We look at the incidence and distribution of patent races by technology, evidence for strategic delay of innovation by incumbent firms, and evidence that patent races moderate incentives to delay. Our results have implications for patent policy in general and for evaluating the U.S. “first to invent” patent priority rule.
    Keywords: Patent race, Patent interference, US Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, Patent litigation; Innovation; Research and development
    JEL: K41 L20 O31 O34
    Date: 2005–08

This issue is ©2006 by Jeong-Joon Lee. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.