New Economics Papers
on Law and Economics
Issue of 2014‒02‒21
five papers chosen by
Eve-Angeline Lambert, Université de Lorraine

  1. How Much Do Cartels Overcharge? By Boyer, Marcel; Kotchoni, Rachidi
  2. Eugen Ehrlich — State Law and Law Enforcement in Societal Systems By Mikhail Antonov
  3. Typology of stock market offenses in France- An analysis of sanctions by the AMF since 2006 By Frédéric Demerens; Dorra Najar; Jean-Louis Paré; Jean Redis
  4. Debates on the criteria of copyrightability in the Russian legal literature By Andrey V. Kashanin
  5. Collusion in markets characterized by one large buyer: lessons learned from an antitrust case in Russia By Andrei Y. Shastitko; Svetlana V. Golovanova

  1. By: Boyer, Marcel; Kotchoni, Rachidi
    Abstract: The estimation of cartel overcharges lies at the heart of antitrust policy on cartel prosecution as it constitutes a key element in the determination of fines. Connor and Lande (2008) conducted a survey of cartels and found a mean overcharge estimate in the range of 31% to 49%. By examining more sources, Connor (2010) finds a mean of 50.4% for successful cartels. However, the data used in those studies are estimates obtained from different methodologies, sources and contexts rather than by direct observations. Therefore, these data are subject to model error, estimation error and publication bias. A quick examination of the Connor database reveals that the universe of overcharge estimate is asymmetric, heterogenous and contains a number of influential observations. Beside the fact that overcharge estimate are potentially biased, fitting a linear regression model to the data without providing a carefull treatment of the problems raised above may produce distorted results. We conduct a meta-analysis of cartel overcharge estimate in the spirit of Connor and Bolotova (2006) while providing a sound treatment of these matters. We find a bias-corrected mean and median overcharge estimate of 15.76% and 16.43%. Clearly, our results have significant antitrust policy implications.
    Keywords: Antitrust, Cartel overcharges, Heckman, Meta-analysis
    Date: 2014–01–31
  2. By: Mikhail Antonov (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: In this article, the author examines the socio-legal conception of Eugen Ehrlich and its relation to state law and judicial law enforcement. The attention is focused on the practical implications of this conception on the functioning of judicial systems. Analyzing the criticism raised against Ehrlich’s conception, the author emphasizes that this thinker stood on a scientific platform which did not necessitate any strict distinction between the factual and the normative — between Is and Ought — considering any attempt to draw a net distinction between societal phenomena as pointless. Ehrlich sought to enlarge the province of jurisprudence through the application of sociological methods to the factual material from which arise social institutions. These institutions crystallize social practices into rules of behaviour, but this crystallization does not happen automatically. It requires an intellectual reconstruction of these practices by the actors acting in the legal order. A scientific examination of law implies that all these components (social facts, institutions, mental constructions, rules and norms) are taken into consideration. Ehrlich critically assesses both the state-centrist ideology of the doctrinal law and the metaphysic speculations about law, arguing that correct law enforcement needs to rely on sociological analysis. The judge should take advantage of methods of sociological research, which allows stating the actual trends of justice in society and comparing these trends with those existing at the time the applicable legal rules were adopted. This comparison leads to a correct balancing of the conflicting interests with a view to the values protected by the legal order. At the same time, the sociological data just help the judge to reveal the will of the lawmaker who would protect the conflicting interests in the same manner as those which were protected when the lawmaker adopted the legal rules in question.
    Keywords: Eugen Ehrlich, sociology of law, judiciary, rules of law, law enforcement, free finding of the law, normativity
    JEL: K10
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Frédéric Demerens; Dorra Najar; Jean-Louis Paré; Jean Redis
    Abstract: This paper presents a study intended to demonstrate how the Financial Market Authority (AMF) in France uses its regulatory and sanctioning powers with regard to brokers, listed companies and other actors (individuals) in the financial industry during the period 2006-2011. The AMF actions are evaluated over time, by examining the evolution of the number and severity of sanctions, as well as in space, through international comparisons. Overall the imposed sanctions according to both their category and the status of those sanctioned strongly indicate that few firms and brokers are sanctioned by the AMF. In addition, the AMF imposes very few administrative sanctions (reprimand or warning). Despite the increase in the maximum fines that may be imposed by the AMF, the set fines by the Enforcement Committee are very weak relative to the volume of the Paris market, to the total assets under management and to the volume of transactions on the Paris stock exchange. A comparison of the AMF statistics with those of its British and American counterparts shows a wide gap between the amounts of fines paid by fraudsters in 2006.
    Keywords: AMF, Fraud, Sanction, Insider Trading, Accounting Manipulations
    JEL: G38 K23
    Date: 2014–01–06
  4. By: Andrey V. Kashanin (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: In codifying intellectual property rights, Russian legislators have left what standards of originality and creativity can be considered criteria of copyrightability a moot point. Nevertheless, it is crucial for answering questions about where the lower boundary of copyrightability lies and, consequently, what intellectual products that have an insignificant creative component, but are of high economic importance – such as databases, computer software, advertisement slogans or design work – should be copyrightable. This article addresses the problem of identifying criteria for copyrightability and non-copyrightability in the Russian legal literature by modeling various types of demarcation criteria and analyzing their strong and weak points. Analyzing debates in the legal literature warrant the conclusion that there is a trend to set looser standards for originality and creativity and grant copyright protection to works of low authorship
    Keywords: copyright, intellectual property, intellectual rights, personal non-property rights, exclusive rights, copyrightable work, copyrightability, works of low authorship, originality, creativity.
    JEL: O34
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Andrei Y. Shastitko (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Svetlana V. Golovanova (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper demonstrates that even established and verified facts of agreements among producers are not a sufficient condition for cartel identification and, as a consequence, prosecution of agreement participants. Such requires looking at institutional details and the wider context of these and similar appearances or occurrences of documents and actions when qualifying the actions of market participants and their effects. This paper discusses a recent antitrust case brought against Russian manufacturers of large diameter pipes (LDPs) that examined supposedly abusive practices by these firms that were contrary to the law on the Protection of Competition, which prohibits market division. The case under consideration illustrates the importance of investigating institutional details when qualifying the actions of market participants and their effects. An analysis of the materials in this case using modern economic theory indicates that the presence of collusion is inconsistent with the active participation of the main consumer of LDPs in that agreement. The chosen format for the cooperation between pipe manufacturing companies and OJSC Gazprom, namely indicative planning, may be explained from the perspective of reducing contract risk in an environment characterized by large-scale private investments.
    Keywords: collusion, antitrust policy, credible commitments, indicative planning, contract risk
    JEL: K21 B52
    Date: 2014

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