New Economics Papers
on Law and Economics
Issue of 2010‒07‒24
six papers chosen by
Jeong-Joon Lee, Towson University

  1. The Business of Piracy in Somalia By Sarah Percy; Anja Shortland
  2. Implementing CDM Limits in the EU ETS: A Law and Economics Approach By Alexander Vasa
  3. Employer Preferences and Social Policy: Business and the Development of Job Security Regulations in Germany since World War I By Emmenegger, Patrick; Marx, Paul
  4. The Consequences of Corruption: Evidence from China By Bin Dong; Benno Torgler
  5. An Institutional Analysis of the Enforcement Problems in Merger Control By Oliver Budzinski
  6. The Dynamics of the Informal Economy By Roxana Gutierrez-Romero

  1. By: Sarah Percy; Anja Shortland
    Abstract: This paper argues that contrary to conventional wisdom, Somali piracy is likely to increase if Somalia's domestic stability is improved, and that naval counter-piracy efforts had limited and unpredicted effects. To make this argument we analyze the underlying factors driving piracy off the coast of Somalia and examine the effectiveness of the international naval anti-piracy mission. We show that while the navies perform well with respect to their declared aims, they failed to resolve the piracy problem through 2009: pirates were not deterred from attacking ships in the Gulf of Aden and have expanded their operations in the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. Evidence from domestic conditions in Somalia suggests that land-based approaches focusing on rebuilding state capabilities may also backfire as economic development and greater stability aid pirates. We examine the incentives of the various interest groups in the Gulf of Aden and conclude that the key players have an interest in the continuation of the piracy off Somalia, as long as violence does not escalate and ransoms remain at their current modest levels.
    Keywords: Piracy, Law enforcement, Informal Economy, Institution Building
    JEL: K42 O17 F19
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Alexander Vasa
    Abstract: The EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) is the main instrument to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Europe. Subject to a country specific limit, installations in the EU ETS can use EU allowances (EUA) and certified emissions reductions (CERs) generated through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) to fulfil their emission reduction target. The CDM encourages and finances emission reduction projects in developing countries. The basis for the implementation of a CDM usage limit is the supplementarity criteria, which was established to ensure that developed countries only cover part of their compliance obligations with emissions reductions abroad. The CDM limits are differentiated between EU member states to cater to the different levels of emission reduction ambitions, the progress made when the limits were established and the ability of the Member State to reduce emissions. The binding limits created substantial arbitrage rents, due to the CER-EUA spread in the range of 200 million Euro for the year 2008. This paper discusses different options for the allocation of this rent. The paper finds that making the right to use CERs tradable or the regulator precommitting to buying CERs at the level of the limit reduces the inefficiencies connected to the current regulation. Auctioning these CER usage rights furthermore shifts the rents created through the CER-EUA spread to the state. Both the EU ETS and the CDM are scrutinised by academics, industry and non-governmental institutions according to their efficiency and environmental effectiveness. The debate about wind-fall profits has shown that climate policies need to be designed carefully. In light of improving the EU ETS, the use of CDM and in light of upcoming regional emissions trading schemes in other developed economies, this paper shows how CDM limits can be designed more efficiently.
    Keywords: Clean Development Mechanism, Emissions Trading, Climate Policy, Efficiency
    JEL: K23 K32 Q48 Q54
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Emmenegger, Patrick (University of Southern Denmark); Marx, Paul (IZA)
    Abstract: This article examines the role of business in the historical development of job security regulations in Germany from their creation in the inter-war period to the dawn of the crisis of the 'German Model' in the 1980s. It contrasts the varieties of capitalism approach, which sees business as protagonists, or at least consenters, in the development of job security regulations with a conflict-oriented approach, which sees the labour movement as protagonists and business as antagonists in the development of job security regulations. The empirical analysis is based on primary and secondary sources and shows that at no point in time German employers preferred strict over flexible job security regulations. Quite the contrary, high levels of job security regulations have been forced upon employers by radicalized labour movements in periods of business weakness in the aftermath of both World Wars.
    Keywords: job security regulations, Germany, institutional change, varieties of capitalism, power resources, industrial relations
    JEL: K31 N34 N44
    Date: 2010–07
  4. By: Bin Dong (The School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology); Benno Torgler (The School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology, CREMA – Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts and CESifo)
    Abstract: With complementary Chinese data sets and alternative corruption measures, we explore the consequences of corruption. Adopting a novel approach we provide evidence that corruption can have both, positive and negative effects, on economic development. The overall impact of corruption might be the balance of the two simultaneous effects within a specific institutional environment (“grease the wheels” and “sand the wheels”). Corruption is observed to considerably increase income inequality in China. We also find that corruption strongly reduces tax revenue. Looking at things from an expenditure point of view we observe that corruption significantly decreases government spending on education, R&D and public health in China. We also observe that regional corruption significantly reduces inbound foreign direct investment in Chinese regions, which indicates that the pollution haven hypothesis may not hold in China. This finding sheds a new light on the “China puzzle” that China is the largest developing host of FDI while it is appears to be very corrupt. Finally we observe that corruption substantially aggravates pollution probably through loosening environment regulation, and that it modifies the effects of trade openness and FDI on the stringency of environmental policy in a manner opposite to that observed in literature to date.
    Keywords: Corruption, China, Government, Economic Development, Inequality, Environment
    JEL: D72 H11 K42
    Date: 2010–06
  5. By: Oliver Budzinski (Department of Environmental and Business Economics, University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: The literature identifies a significant drop in merger control enforcement activity on both sides of the Atlantic during the last decade. Furthermore, this drop in enforcement activity is convincingly connected to enforcement problems on the sides of the competition agencies. This paper goes beyond the identification of under-enforcement and proceeds to the analysis of causes for the enforcement problems and the discussion of possible solutions. It argues that modern institutional economics suggest that a lack of ‘fit’ between the ‘new’ economic approach to merger control and the ‘old’ institutional environment of the legal enforcement procedures explains the drop of enforcement effectiveness on both sides of the Atlantic by implicitly raising the standard of proof, leading to unattainable standards, virtually eroding merger control enforcement power. As a consequence, the effects-based approach to merger control fails due to its failure to acknowledge its institutional implications. Reconciling industrial and institutional economics – promoting a comprehensive competition economics approach – however offers avenues towards an effective use of sophisticated industrial economic theories and methods. Firstly, incorporating economics into enforceable rules like strong rebuttable presumptions would adjust substantive merger control policy to the procedural institutional environment. Secondly, a reform of the standards of proof provisions would adjust the procedural framework to the characteristics of modern economic evidence and concepts. In summary, the enforcement problems in merger control require even more economic thinking, complementing industrial economic thought with institutional economic thought. I like to thank Arndt Christiansen and Eva Roth as well as the participants of research seminars at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and at the Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) for valuable comments on earlier versions of this paper.
    Keywords: Merger control, European competition policy, antitrust, enforcement problems, in-stitutional economics, more economic approach, standard of proof
    JEL: K21 L40 D02
    Date: 2010–06
  6. By: Roxana Gutierrez-Romero
    Abstract: This paper analyses the factors that give rise to the existence of the informal economy and how it evolves over time. Using an occupational-choice model the paper shows that at early stages of development, informal and formal markets coexists, but in the long-run the size of the informal economy can decline depending on the initial distribution of wealth. The model shows that the higher the initial wealth inequality the larger the size of the informal economy and the higher the wealth inequality will be in the long run. The paper calibrates the model using numerical simulations.
    Keywords: informal economy, occupational choice and inequality
    JEL: D31 K4
    Date: 2010

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