New Economics Papers
on Law and Economics
Issue of 2006‒09‒16
five papers chosen by
Jeong-Joon Lee, Towson University

  1. Employee Training, Wage Dispersion and Equality in Britain By Filipe Almeida-Santos; Karen Mumford
  2. Why Are Immigrants' Incarceration Rates So Low? Evidence on Selective Immigration, Deterrence, and Deportation By Kristin F. Butcher; Anne Morrison Piehl
  3. An Economic Analysis of the Bekaert NV Insider Trading Case By Peter-Jan Engelen
  4. An Ethical Analysis of Regulating Insider Trading By Peter-Jan Engelen; Luc Van Liedekerke
  5. Collusion when the Number of Firms is Large By Luca Colombo; Michele Grillo

  1. By: Filipe Almeida-Santos (University of York and Universidade Católica Portuguesa); Karen Mumford (University of York and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: We use British household panel data to explore the wage returns to training incidence and intensity (duration) for 6924 employees. We find these returns differ greatly depending on the nature of the training (general or specific); who funds the training (employee or employer); and the skill levels of the recipient (white or blue collar). Using decomposition analysis, we further conclude that training is positively associated with wage dispersion in Britain and a virtuous circle of wage gains but only for white-collar employees.
    Keywords: training, wage compression, performance
    JEL: J24 J31 J41
    Date: 2006–08
  2. By: Kristin F. Butcher (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago); Anne Morrison Piehl (Rutgers University and NBER)
    Abstract: Immigrants to the United States tend to have characteristics in common with native-born populations that are disproportionately incarcerated. The perception that immigration adversely affects crime rates led to legislation in the 1990s that particularly increased punishment of criminal aliens. In fact, immigrants have much lower institutionalization (incarceration) rates than the native born—on the order of one-fifth the rate of natives. More recently arrived immigrants have the lowest relative incarceration rates, and this difference increased from 1980 to 2000. We present a model of immigrant self-selection that suggests why, despite poor labor market outcomes, immigrants may have better incarceration outcomes than the native born. We examine whether the improvement in immigrants’ relative incarceration rates over the last three decades is linked to increased deportation, immigrant self-selection, or deterrence. Our evidence suggests that deportation is not driving the results. Rather, the process of migration selects individuals who are more responsive to deterrent effects than the average native. Immigrants who were already in the country reduced their relative institutionalization probability over the decades; and the newly arrived immigrants in the 1980s and 1990s seem to be particularly unlikely to be involved in criminal activity, consistent with increasingly positive selection along this dimension.
    Keywords: immigration, crime, incarceration, assimilation
    JEL: J61 K4
    Date: 2006–03–15
  3. By: Peter-Jan Engelen
    Abstract: This article contains a clinical study of Bekaert NV, the biggest insider trading case in Belgium. Up to now, no economic analysis of this case was ever conducted. It showed that Belgian courts currently seem to lack knowledge of the functioning of financial markets to assess an insider trading case. Therefore their decisions give little guidance to future litigants. Using a law and economics framework, this case study is clarifying in several aspects compared to a traditional legal analysis. The analysis focuses on two aspects of an insider trading case. First, the price-sensitive character of the information is examined. Second, the standard of proof was examined.
    Keywords: insider trading, regulation, criminal prosecution, standard of proof, law & economics
    JEL: K14 K22 K42
    Date: 2006–06
  4. By: Peter-Jan Engelen; Luc Van Liedekerke
    Abstract: Although there seems to be a broad consensus to prohibit insider trading among supervising authorities and market professionals, the debate on insider trading has not settled definitively. We introduce a distinction between insider trading and market manipulation on the one hand and corporate insiders versus misappropriators on the other hand. This gives rise to four types of alleged wrong transactions. Using a utilitarian and a non-utilitarian fairness approach, we demonstrate that it is hard to find good arguments against insider trading in its purest form (type I transactions). Using a property rights perspective in particular, we show that neither a general ban nor a general permitting of insider trading is an efficient outcome. We propose a solution in which companies solve this compensation problem contractually with their corporate agents. In this way,insider trading can be used as a governance instrument which can reinforce the fiduciary relationship.
    Keywords: insider trading, market manipulation, fairness, property rights
    JEL: G18 K22
    Date: 2006–06
  5. By: Luca Colombo; Michele Grillo
    Abstract: In antitrust analysis it is generally agreed that a small number of firms operating in the industry is an essential precondition for collusive behavior to be sustainable. However, the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) challenged this view in the recent case RCA (2000), when an information exchange among forty-four firms in the car insurance market was assessed as having an anticompetitive object. The AGCM’s basic argument was that an information exchange facilitates collusion because it changes the market environment in such a way as to relax the incentive compatibility constraint for collusion, thus circumventing the decrease in the critical discount factor when the number of firms in the industry increases. In this paper we model collusive behavior in a “dispersed” oligopoly. We prove that, when the technology exhibits decreasing returns to scale, collusion can always be sustained, regardless of the number of firms, provided the marginal cost function is sufficiently steep. Moreover, we show how an information exchange can sustain collusive behavior when the number of firms is “large” independently of the assumptions on technology.
    Keywords: Collusion, Industry structure, Facilitating practices
    JEL: L41 L13 L11 K21
    Date: 2006–03

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