nep-law New Economics Papers
on Law and Economics
Issue of 2015‒12‒20
six papers chosen by
Eve-Angeline Lambert, Université de Lorraine

  1. Registered cartels in Austria: An overview By Fink, Nikolaus; Schmidt-Dengler, Philipp; Stahl, Konrad; Zulehner, Christine
  2. Biased Judges: Evidence from French Environmental Cases By Pierre Bentata; Yolande Hiriart
  3. Labour market reforms in Italy: evaluating the effects of the Jobs Act By Marta Fana; Dario Guarascio; Valeria Cirillo
  4. The Tragedy of Corruption Corruption as a social dilemma By Ye-Feng Chen; Shu-Guang Jiang; Marie Claire Villeval
  5. Is there justification for alimony payments? A survey of the empirical literature. By Bruno Jeandidier; Helen Lim
  6. Optimal environmental border adjustments under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (Payne Institute Policy Brief) By Edward J. Balistreri; Daniel T. Kaffine; Hidemichi Yonezawa

  1. By: Fink, Nikolaus; Schmidt-Dengler, Philipp; Stahl, Konrad; Zulehner, Christine
    Abstract: Cartels were legal to a large extent in Austria until the country's EU Accession in 1995. We examine archival material on registered horizontal cartels to learn about their inner working. Applying content analysis to legally binding cartel contracts, we comprehensively document different collusion methods along the lines described by Stigler (1964). Quota cartels employ regular reporting schemes and use compensation mechanisms for departures from set quotas. Specialization cartels divide markets, and rely the least on information exchange and punishment. Price and payment condition cartels primarily aim to prevent secret price cuts, requiring information provision upon request, allow for discretionary decision-taking and (sometimes immediate) punishment. These stylized facts on the contractual arrangements suggest that the possibility to write legally binding agreements was employed to address the usual obstacles to sustaining collusion.
    Keywords: Collusion,Cartels,Legal Cartels,Contracts
    JEL: L41 L43
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Pierre Bentata (Université de Paris 2, CRED); Yolande Hiriart (Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté, CRESE, IUF)
    Abstract: Using an original database of 614 judgements in the French supreme courts from 1956 to 2010, we test for possible biases in judges’ decisions in the field of environmental accidents, focusing on a difference in treatment between private parties and the government as litigant. Two separate institutions deal with environmental cases in France, namely the Conseil d’E´tat (Supreme Administrative Tribunal) for public utilities and central and local government, and the Cour de cassation (Supreme Civil Court) for private firms. We run bivariate Probit regressions to explain pro-defendant decisions and reversals of decisions. Overall, courts treat plaintiffs and defendants differently. A pro-defendant decision and a reversal of decision are less likely to occur: (i) when the appeal is initiated by the defendant rather than by the plaintiff; (ii) in the Conseil d’Etat rather than in the Cour de cassation. The Conseil d’Etat is harsher with defendants than the Cour de cassation. These results could be indicative of a bias of the lower administrative tribunals in favor of public utilities and/or the government.
    Keywords: environmental accidents, French cases, litigation, Appellate Courts, judicial review, judicial behavior, biased judges, administrative tribunals
    JEL: K13 K32 K41
    Date: 2015–12
  3. By: Marta Fana; Dario Guarascio; Valeria Cirillo
    Abstract: Law 183 of 2014, evocatively named the "Jobs Act", has determined a deep change in the Italian industrial relations. Bringing at completion a reform process begun in the 1990s, the Jobs Act has introduced a new contract type - "contratto a tutele crescenti" - implying a substantial downsize of obligation for workers' reinstatement in case of firms invalidly firing them. The new permanent contract is therefore deprived of the substantial re- quirements of an open-ended contract. The Law has also weakened the legal constraints for firms intending to monitor workers through electronic devices and introduced new incentives for firms using temporary contracts. This article frames the Jobs Act within the overall labour market reform process occurred in Italy since mid-nineties and provides a first evaluation of its impacts on the Italian labour market. Taking advantage of different data sources (administrative and labour force data) and concentrating the analysis over the period after the Jobs Act implementation, the investi- gation provides the following results: the expected boost in employment growth is not detected; an increase in the share of temporary contracts over the open-ended ones is observed; a raise of part-time contracts within the new permanent positions emerges. The analysis shows that the Jobs Act failed in achieving its main goals. We discuss the observed evidence evaluating the appropriateness of the Law 183/2014 in the present Italian economic context accounting, in particular, for the structural effects of the recent crisis.
    Date: 2015–09–12
  4. By: Ye-Feng Chen (Zhejiang University - Zhejiang University - ZJU (CHINA)); Shu-Guang Jiang (Shandong University - Shandong University); Marie Claire Villeval (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne - PRES Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: We investigate corruption as a social dilemma by means of a bribery game in which a risk of collective failure is introduced when the number of public officials accepting a bribe from firms reaches a certain threshold. We show that, despite the social risk, the pursuit of individual interest prevails and leads to the elimination of honest officials over time. Reducing the size of the groups while increasing the probability of collective failure diminishes the public officials' corruptibility but is not sufficient to eliminate the tragedy of corruption altogether.
    Keywords: experiment,coordination,collective failure,social dilemma,bribing,Corruption
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Bruno Jeandidier; Helen Lim
    Abstract: The French civil code relating to divorce makes reference to the economics of marriage in specifying that in fixing alimony payments, judges should take into account the professional choices made by each spouse during the marriage for the sake of the union or for the children. According to the theory, traditional gender role specialisation results in men accumulating market human capital whilst women accumulate family-oriented human capital. Wage data in many countries indeed indicates that men tend to enjoy a marriage wage premium whilst women suffer a wage penalty. A corollary of this is that in the event of divorce, men are not penalised financially whereas women are. This paper analyses the empirical justification for alimony payments. An extensive review of the literature suggests that part of the premium observed for men is explained by a selection effect, and possibly other factors such as the effect of responsibility, or employer bias. In the case of women, it is motherhood and not marriage per se that has a clearly negative impact on wages.
    Keywords: Family wage gap, marriage, divorce, compensatory alimony payment.
    JEL: J12 J16 J31 K36
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Edward J. Balistreri (Division of Economics and Business, Colorado School of Mines); Daniel T. Kaffine (Department of Economics, University of Colorado, at Boulder); Hidemichi Yonezawa (Institute of the Environment, University of Ottawa)
    Keywords: climate policy, border tax adjustments, carbon leakage, trade and carbon taxes
    JEL: F18 Q54 Q40 K33
    Date: 2015–12

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