New Economics Papers
on Law and Economics
Issue of 2013‒05‒19
two papers chosen by
Jeong-Joon Lee, Towson University

  1. The Composition of Health and Safety in Employment Sentences in New Zealand: An Empirical Analysis By Andrea Menclova; Alan Woodfield
  2. Endogenous Cartel Organization and Antitrust Fine Discrimination By Tim Reuter

  1. By: Andrea Menclova (University of Canterbury); Alan Woodfield (University of Canterbury)
    Abstract: Sentences for employers convicted of offences under NZ health and safety in employment law have been subject to constraints from two main sources (i) legislation; and (ii) guideline judgment cases. This paper analyses the determinants of HSE offences over the period following the introduction of the De Spa Guidelines in March 1994 to the Hanham & Philp Guideline judgment in December 2008, and also splits the period to account for the implementation of the Sentencing Act 2002 and the HSE Amendment Act 2002. Among the De Spa Guidelines we find that the level of harm in particular, and employer culpability are not only consistently represented among significant determinants of HSE sentences in respect of fines and total liability faced by employers, but also emerge as important determinants of awards to accident victims. These results hold at the single s 6 charge level and at the case level, as well as for alternative specifications of our estimating model. Considering the two periods separately, we find that estimated coefficients are considerably larger in magnitude for the latter period. Results for the remaining De Spa factors and case-specific facts are less robust, although a defendant’s financial limitations provides a consistent and sizable fine discount, and several others also regularly appear as systematic HSE sentencing determinants.
    Keywords: Health & Safety Offences; Judicial Guidelines; Sentencing Determinants
    JEL: K32
    Date: 2013–04–29
  2. By: Tim Reuter (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)
    Abstract: Third parties such as trade associations often assist cartels by collecting and evaluating market behaviour at the firm level. Under incomplete information neutral market oversight helps to distinguish defecting from complying behaviour, increasing the effectiveness of punishments for defectors and increasing cartel persistence. We investigate how cartels sort themselves into different organizational forms and whether cartel enforcement can be improved by setting fines contingent on the organizational form. A fine reduction for firms operating without the help of a third party causes some cartels to switch to a less persistent organizational form. Two drawbacks of this fine differentiation are that some new cartels will arise and that some of the existing cartels will become more persistent as the need to punish defectors decreases. Our paper is the first in the marginal deterrence literature to identify this second effect.
    Keywords: cartel organization, antitrust enforcement, trade association, marginal deterrence
    JEL: K21 K42 L41
    Date: 2013–05–06

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