New Economics Papers
on Law and Economics
Issue of 2012‒11‒17
four papers chosen by
Jeong-Joon Lee, Towson University

  1. Constitutional Environmental Human Rights in India: Negating a Negating Statement By Christopher Jeffords
  2. Does employment contribute to desistance? Offending trajectories of crime-prone men around the time of job entry By Torbjørn Skardhamar and Jukka Savolainen
  3. For Every Law, a Loophole: Flexibility in the Menu of Spanish Business Forms, 1886-1936 By Guinnane, Timothy W>; Martinez Rodriguez, Susana
  4. Crime and Erosion of Trust: Evidence for Latin America By Ana Corbacho; Julia Philipp; Mauricio Ruiz-Vega

  1. By: Christopher Jeffords (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: Based on the December 2011 version of the Constitution of India, this article examines 3 potential ways to “interpret” the legal strength of a broadly defined national constitutional environmental human right. Using text from Articles 43, 47, 48A, and 51A, and paying special attention to the negating statement preceding these articles, the 3 ways are summarized as follows: (1) having or not a constitutional environmental human right; (2) interpreting the constitutional environmental human right as enforceable law or directive principles; and (3) linking the language of the constitutional environmental human right to the underlying definition of an environmental human right. The article notes that although India’s constitution contains a constitutional environmental human right that is best described as a directive principle, its language does not correspond highly with that of current definitions of environmental human rights. Furthermore, its legal strength is severely limited by the presence of the negating statement which, at the very least, would need to be repealed or negated to give life to constitutional environmental human rights in India.
    Keywords: Constitutional Environmental Human Rights, Directive Principles, Enforceable Law
    JEL: K32 Q50 Q56
    Date: 2012–10
  2. By: Torbjørn Skardhamar and Jukka Savolainen (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: Influential perspectives in life course criminology maintain that transitions to adult social roles play an important role in the termination of criminal careers. Along with marriage, employment is frequently associated with potential to assist in the desistance process. At this time, the empirical status of these claims remains contested. Although several studies report negative associations between within-individual changes in employment and offending, the evidence regarding time-order remains limited to anecdotal observations from qualitative data. The present investigation took advantage of administrative data sources available in Norway. Focusing on a sample of criminally active males who became employed during 2001-2006 (n=1,063), general and group based estimation techniques were used to examine monthly changes in offending trajectories around the point of job entry. Results show that most offenders had desisted prior to the employment transition, and that employment entailed marginal to no further reductions in criminal behavior. We were able to identify a group of offenders who became employed during an active phase of the criminal career; and these individuals did experience substantial reductions in criminal offending following job entry. However, this trajectory describes only about 2% of the sample. Overall, the pattern observed in this research suggests that employment, as a naturally occurring event, is best viewed as a consequence rather than a contributing cause of criminal desistance.
    Keywords: Desistance from crime; employment; turning points
    JEL: K10 J10
    Date: 2012–11
  3. By: Guinnane, Timothy W> (Yale University and CESifo, Munich); Martinez Rodriguez, Susana (?)
    Abstract: The Spanish business code allowed firms great flexibility in their organizational form in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Until 1920, firms had the same basic choices as in France and some other European countries, namely, the corporation, the ordinary partnership, or the limited partnership. But Spanish law was unusually flexible, allowing firms to adapt the corporation especially to the needs of its owners. Starting in 1920 Spanish firms could also organize as a Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada (SRL), a form similar to the German GmbH or the British Private Limited Company (PLC). But some firms had already adopted the form prior to 1920. The Spanish coded lacked the principle of "numerus clauses" that is central to many areas of law. Most business codes allow firms to choose only from a proscribed menu of options. The Spanish code offered these options but also stated that firms could organize in other ways if they wished. This paper uses three empirical sources to study the way firms actually used those possibilities. We find that this flexibility did not make entrepreneurs indifferent across the different organizational forms.
    JEL: K20 N43 N44
    Date: 2012–05
  4. By: Ana Corbacho; Julia Philipp; Mauricio Ruiz-Vega
    Abstract: Crime has tangible economic costs. It also has less understood and likely sizable intangible costs. In particular, widespread crime has the potential to weaken trust between citizens and institutions, undermine government reform efforts, and become an obstacle to development. Yet, the impact of crime on trust remains relatively unexplored in the literature. This paper analyzes the potential interrelationship between individual victimization and several measures of trust, including trust in formal public institutions and trust in informal private networks. It is based on a representative sample of individuals in 19 countries in Latin America. The empirical strategy is intended to mitigate overt biases and assess sensitivity to hidden biases. The results show that victimization has a substantial negative effect on trust in the local police but no robust effect on informal institutions. Governments may henceforth need to redouble efforts to reduce victimization and the resulting erosion of trust in public institutions.
    Keywords: Public Sector :: Citizen Security & Crime Prevention, Crime, Beliefs, Trust, Social Capital, Welfare
    JEL: D74 D83 H41 I39 K42 O54
    Date: 2012–08

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