nep-law New Economics Papers
on Law and Economics
Issue of 2015‒05‒16
eleven papers chosen by
Eve-Angeline Lambert, Université de Lorraine

  1. Political Bias in Court? Lay Judges and Asylum Appeals By Martén, Linna
  2. Law Firms and Export Insurance Companies By Fabian Sosa
  3. The right to free assistance of an interpreter and /or translator based on the example of Finland By Vladimir Jilkine
  4. Politics in the Courtroom: Political Ideology and Jury Decision Making By Anwar, Shamena Anwar; Bayer, Patrick; Hjalmarsson, Randi
  5. Does Defensive Medicine Reduce Health Care Spending? By Barkowski, Scott
  6. Firm-Specific Information and Explicit Collusion in Experimental Oligopolies By Francisco Gomez-Martin; Sander Onderstal; Joep Sonnemans
  7. Lost in the Clouds: The Impact of Changing Property Rights on Investment in Cloud Computing Ventures By Josh Lerner; Greg Rafert
  8. An Assessment of the Performance of the Italian Tax Debt Collection System By Margherita Ebraico; Savino Rua
  9. Assessing the impacts of alcohol policies: A microsimulation approach By Michele Cecchini; Marion Devaux; Franco Sassi
  11. The fiscal implications of mobile applications: The case study of UBER in Romania By CIRSTEA ELENA ALICE

  1. By: Martén, Linna (Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Several countries practice a system where laymen, who lack legal education, participate in the judicial decision making. Yet, little is known about their potential influence on the court rulings. In Sweden lay judges (namndeman) are affiliated with the political parties and appointed in proportion to political party representation in the last local elections. This paper investigates the influence of their partisan belonging when ruling in asylum appeals in the Migration Courts, where laymen are effectively randomly assigned to cases. The results show that the approval rate is affected by the policy position of the laymen's political parties. In particular, asylum appeals are more likely to be rejected when laymen from the anti-immigrant party the Swedish Democrats participate, and less likely to be rejected when laymen from the Left Party, the Christian Democrats or the Green Party participate. This indicates that asylum seekers do not receive an impartial trial, and raises concerns that laymen in the courts can compromise the legal security in general.
    Keywords: Political attitudes; Decision making; Court; Immigration; Legal system
    JEL: D72 D79 K10 K40
    Date: 2015–05–05
  2. By: Fabian Sosa
    Abstract: In the age of globalization the relevance of international trade has increased tremendously. As a consequence, many transactions go beyond the legal framework of the nation state. Mechanisms provided by the nation states are not anymore suitable to secure international transactions. The enforcement of cross-border claims is complicated by legal and practical problems. Arbitration has an increasing importance for cross-border conflict resolution, but it is not able to replace state court proceedings. The author analyses this topic from the perspective of international law-firms based on existing studies, statistics, and his experience as international lawyer. On the basis of 30 practical cases the author provides insight into the claim management in the export insurance industry, a sector where private actors (export insurance companies and law-firms) use litigation as central instrument for cross-border conflict resolution. The analysis shows that export insurance provides an important contribution in this context, in particular for small and midsized companies regarding their possibilities to reduce the payment default risk in international business relationships.
    Keywords: Commercial law, cross-border transactions, global trade, contract enforcement, private ordering, international arbitration, international contracts, national courts, international law-firms, claim management, export insurance
    JEL: A14 F14 F15 F23 K12 K K41 K42 L22 L14
    Date: 2015–05
  3. By: Vladimir Jilkine (Baltic International Academy)
    Abstract: This article examines the legal, theoretical and practical issues for participation of an authorised interpreter in criminal proceedings. Based on the analysis of international and national normative sources an investigation is conducted into legal personality of an interpreter, requirements level of his professional competence and its role in the observance and implementation of the rights of the suspect and the accused to a fair trial. An interpreter plays an important role in the enforcement and protection of the rights and freedoms of people who do not speak the language of the proceedings in the criminal case. The article is devoted to the problematic issues that arise under the influence of international law and the European Court of Human Rights on the transformation of the legal mechanism to protect the rights of suspects and defendants who did not know the language of proceedings and the role of a court interpreter.
    Keywords: International law, a fair trial. Authorised interpreter, the language of the proceedings, right to a free interpreter.
    JEL: K33 K14 K10
  4. By: Anwar, Shamena Anwar (Carnegie Mellon University); Bayer, Patrick (Duke University); Hjalmarsson, Randi (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: This paper uses data from the Gothenburg District Court in Sweden and a research design that exploits the random assignment of politically appointed jurors (termed nämndemän) to make three contributions to the literature on jury decision-making: (i) an assessment of whether systematic biases exist in the Swedish nämndemän system, (ii) causal evidence on the impact of juror political party on verdicts, and (iii) an empirical examination of the role of peer effects in jury decision-making. The results reveal a number of systematic biases: convictions for young defendants and those with distinctly Arabic sounding names increase substantially when they are randomly assigned jurors from the far-right (nationalist) Swedish Democrat party, while convictions in cases with a female victim increase markedly when they are assigned jurors from the far-left (feminist) Vänster party. The results also indicate the presence of peer effects, with jurors from both the far-left and far-right parties drawing the votes of their more centrist peers towards their positions. Peer effects take the form of both sway effects, where jurors influence the opinions of their closest peers in a way that can impact trial outcomes, and dissent aversion, where jurors switch non-pivotal votes so that the decision is unanimous.
    Keywords: crime; jury; nämndemän; politics; peer effects
    JEL: K14 K40
    Date: 2015–05
  5. By: Barkowski, Scott
    Abstract: The medical community often argues that physician fear of legal liability increases health care spending. Theoretically, though, the effect could be positive or negative, and empirical evidence has supported both cases. Previous empirical work, however, has ignored the fact that physicians face risk from industry oversight groups like state-level medical licensing boards in addition to civil litigation risk. This paper addresses this omission by incorporating previously unused data on punishments by oversight groups against physicians, known as adverse actions, along with malpractice payments data to study state-level health care spending. My analysis suggests that health care spending does not rise in response to higher levels of risk. An increase in adverse actions equal to 16 (the mean, absolute value of year-to-year changes within a state) is found to be associated with statistically significant average annual spending decreases in hospital care and prescription drugs of as much as 0.25% (nearly $29 million) and 0.29% (almost $9.3 million). Malpractice payments were generally estimated to have smaller, statistically insignificant effects.
    Keywords: defensive medicine; medical malpractice; health care spending; medical licensing
    JEL: H75 I11 I18 K23 K32
    Date: 2015–02–01
  6. By: Francisco Gomez-Martin (University of Amsterdam); Sander Onderstal (University of Amsterdam); Joep Sonnemans (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We experimentally study the effect of information about competitors’ actions on cartel stability and firms’ incentives to form cartels in Cournot markets. As in previous experiments, markets become very competitive when individualized information is available and participants cannot communicate. In contrast, when communication is possible, results reverse: Markets become less competitive and cartels become more stable when individualized information is available. We also observe that the extra profits that firms obtain thanks to the possibility to communicate are higher when individualized information is present, suggesting that firms have greater incentives to form cartels in that situation.
    Keywords: Cournot oligopoly; Cartels; Information; Experiments
    JEL: C92 L13 L41
    Date: 2015–05–10
  7. By: Josh Lerner; Greg Rafert
    Abstract: Our analysis seeks to understand the impact of changing allocations of property rights on investment in new firms. We focus on the Cartoon Network, et al. v. Cablevision decision in the U.S., which narrowed the protection enjoyed by content creators (e.g., movie studios) and gave greater rights to downstream technology firms, as well as decisions in France and Germany that took an opposite view. Our findings regarding relative venture capital investment in the U.S. and Europe, across Europe, and between the various judicial circuits of the U.S. suggest that decisions around the allocation of property rights can have economically and statistically significant impacts on investment in innovative enterprises.
    JEL: G24 O34
    Date: 2015–05
  8. By: Margherita Ebraico (Italian Revenue Agency); Savino Rua (European Commission)
    Abstract: This paper provides a comparable estimate of the magnitude of tax debt in Italy and investigates which administrative factors would contribute to explain it. It is inspired by the work of the OECD on comparative tax administration. Our findings show that the level of undisputed tax debt in Italy is close to the EU average, with a decreasing trend since 2008. No more gaps are found in the administration of tax debt management in Italy, when comparing it with that of other EU Member States. The use of technology emerges as a possible area of further attention.
    Keywords: Tax administration, Tax debt, Tax collection
    JEL: H11 H71 H83 K34 K40
    Date: 2015–01
  9. By: Michele Cecchini; Marion Devaux; Franco Sassi
    Abstract: Alcohol policies have significant potential to curb alcohol-related harms, improve health, increase productivity, reduce crime and violence, and cut government expenditure. The WHO Global Strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol provides a menu of policy options based on international consensus, which the OECD has used as a starting point in identifying a set of policies to be assessed in an economic analysis based on a computer simulation approach. This working paper provides a comprehensive illustration of the modelling approach, input data and underlying assumptions that have been used to carry out the analyses. The policies assessed in three country settings – Canada, the Czech Republic and Germany – include price policies, regulation and enforcement policies, education programmes and health care interventions. The results of the OECD analyses show that brief interventions in primary care, typically targeting high-risk drinkers, and tax increases, which affect all drinkers, have the potential to generate large health gains. The impacts of regulation and enforcement policies as well as other health care interventions are more dependent on the setting and mode of implementation, while school-based programmes show less promise. Alcohol policies have the potential to prevent alcohol-related disabilities and injuries in hundreds of thousands of working-age people in the countries examined, with major potential gains in their productivity. Most alcohol policies are estimated to cut health care expenditures to the extent that their implementation costs would be more than offset. Health care interventions and enforcement of drinking-and-driving restrictions are more expensive policies, but they still have very favourable cost-effectiveness profiles.<BR>Les politiques de l’alcool peuvent jouer un rôle majeur dans la réduction des méfaits de l’alcool, l’amélioration de la santé, l’accroissement de la productivité, la réduction des délits et de la violence, et la diminution des dépenses publiques. La Stratégie mondiale de l’OMS visant à réduire l’usage nocif de l’alcool propose une liste d’options découlant d’un consensus international, que l’OCDE a utilisée comme point de départ pour mettre en lumière un ensemble d’actions à évaluer dans le cadre d’une analyse économique s’appuyant sur un modèle de micro-simulation. Ce document de travail offre une description complète du modèle, des données et des hypothèses sous-jacentes utilisées pour mener les analyses. Les actions évaluées dans trois pays – le Canada, la République tchèque et l’Allemagne – incluent des politiques de prix, des mesures de réglementation et d’application de la législation, des programmes d’éducation et des interventions sanitaires. Les résultats de l’analyse de l’OCDE montrent que l’on peut obtenir d’importants résultats en termes de santé grâce à des interventions brèves dans le cadre de soins primaires, qui ciblent généralement des consommateurs à haut risque, et à des hausses des taxes qui pénalisent tous les consommateurs. L’impact des mesures de réglementation et d’application de la législation, ainsi que d’autres interventions sanitaires, dépendent davantage du contexte et du mode d’application, tandis que les programmes en milieu scolaire semblent quant à eux moins prometteurs. Dans les pays étudiés, les politiques de l’alcool peuvent permettre à des centaines de milliers de personnes en âge de travailler d’éviter les incapacités et les blessures liées à l’alcool, ce qui améliorerait beaucoup leur productivité. On estime que la plupart des politiques de l’alcool pourraient contribuer à réduire les dépenses de santé dans la mesure où leurs coûts de mise en oeuvre seraient plus que compensés. Les interventions sanitaires et l’application de restrictions concernant l’alcool au volant constituent des mesures plus onéreuses, mais présentent quand même des rapports coût-efficacité très positifs.
    JEL: D61 D63 H51 I12 I18
    Date: 2015–05
  10. By: SAIDA BEJTJA (MUÇA) (“Aleksander Xhuvani” University, Faculty of Economics, Department of The Right, Elbasan, Albania.)
    Abstract: The World organizations report on governance and development since year 1997 defined governance as “the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social resources for development.” The Financial Institution’s Strategy on Governance and Anticorruption broadens this definition to “the manner in which public officials and institutions acquire and exercise the authority to shape public policy and provide public goods and services.” The authors of the World Bank Institute’s Worldwide Governance Indicators offer a more comprehensive approach:Governance consists of the traditions and institutions by which authority in a country is exercised. This includes the process by which governments are selected, monitored and replaced; the capacity of the government to effectively formulate and implement sound policies; and the respect of citizens and the state for the institutions that govern economic and social interactions among them.This review of immovable property rights in Albania draws primarily upon this definition, which takes into account the popular legitimacy of state institutions and respect for the law among citizens and government institutions—the “softer” aspects of governance that are essential to understanding how policies are made and implemented in practice and how public resources are used.
    Keywords: policy, financial, property, Albania, govern.
    JEL: K30 K40 K30
  11. By: CIRSTEA ELENA ALICE (University of Economic Studies from Bucharest, Romania)
    Abstract: The development of information technology has brought about massive change in the way people conduct their daily activities. These changes are reflected in both in economics and consumer behavior. Mobile applications come to support consumers in their daily activities, but it also implies new challenges in national and international legislation. One of these applications is the Uber, application that changed the way transportation is perceived. This application provides consumers the possibility to find a convenient mean of transportation available even during peak hours. But what are the implications in terms of taxation? Would the Uber standard operating model effectively work in any country? This paper provides information regarding the tax implications that may arise in the case of mobile business model, analyzing the Uber mobile application. The paper also provides information about consumer’s perception on this type of mobile application.AcknowledgementThis paper was co-financed from the European Social Fund, through the Sectorial Operational Programme Human Resources Development 2007-2013, project number POSDRU/159/1.5/S/138907 "Excellence in scientific interdisciplinary research, doctoral and postdoctoral, in the economic, social and medical fields -EXCELIS", coordinator The Bucharest University of Economic Studies
    Keywords: mobile application, international taxation, business model, consumer behavior
    JEL: H20 D12 K34

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