nep-law New Economics Papers
on Law and Economics
Issue of 2017‒01‒01
seven papers chosen by
Eve-Angeline Lambert, Université de Lorraine

  1. Screening for Patent Quality : Examination, Fees, and the Courts By Schankerman, Mark; Schütt, Florian
  2. Corrupt Bureaucrats: The Response of Non-Elected Officials to Electoral Accountability By Valsecchi, Michele
  3. Are Market-Share Contracts a Poor Man’s Exclusive Dealing? By Zhijun Chen; Greg Shaffer
  4. Trade-Related International Regulatory Co-operation: A Theoretical Framework By Martin von Lampe; Koen Deconinck
  5. Procrastination in the Workplace: Evidence from the U.S. Patent Office By Michael D. Frakes; Melissa F. Wasserman
  6. Public Sector Personnel Economics: Wages, Promotions, and the Competence-Control Trade-off By Charles M. Cameron; John M. de Figueiredo; David E. Lewis
  7. EU Blue Card: A promising tool among labour migration policies? A comparative analysis of selected countries By Bellini, Simona

  1. By: Schankerman, Mark; Schütt, Florian (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)
    Abstract: We develop an integrated framework to study how governments can improve the quality of patent screening. We focus on four key policy instruments: patent office examination, pre- and post-grant fees, and challenges in the courts. We show that there are important complementarities among these instruments, and identify conditions under which they can be used to achieve either partial or complete screening. We simulate the model to study the welfare effects of different policy reforms. We show that intensifying patent office examination, frontloading patent fees and capping litigation costs all generate welfare gains, while replacing examination with a pure registration system reduces welfare.
    Keywords: innovation; patents; screening; litigation; courts; patent fees
    JEL: D82 K41 L24 O31 O34 O38
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Valsecchi, Michele (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: Modern state bureaucracies are designed to be insulated from political interference. Successful insulation implies that politicians' electoral incentives do not affect bureaucrats' corruption. I test this prediction by assembling a unique dataset on corruption, promotions and demotions for more than 4 million Indonesian local civil servants. To identify the effect of reelection incentives, I exploit the existence of term limits and a difference-indifference strategy. I find that reelection incentives decrease the corruption behaviour of both top and administrative bureaucrats, which constitutes new evidence of the deep, farreaching effects of politicians' accountability on local civil servants. I explore a mechanism where bureaucrats have career concerns and politicians facing reelection manipulate such concerns by increasing the turnover of top bureaucrats. Consistent with this mechanism, I find that reelection incentives increase demotions of top bureaucrats and promotions of administrative bureaucrats.
    Keywords: Corruption; Elections; Bureaucracy
    JEL: D72 D73 H83 K40 O17
    Date: 2016–12
  3. By: Zhijun Chen; Greg Shaffer
    Abstract: Contracts that reference rivals have long been a focus of antitrust law and the subject of intense scholarly debate. This paper compares two such contracts, exclusive-dealing contracts and market-share contracts, in a model of naked exclusion. We discuss the different mecha-nisms through which each works and identify the fundamental tradeoff that arises: market-share contracts are better at maximizing a seller’s benefit from foreclosure whereas exclusive dealing is better at minimizing a seller’s cost of foreclosure. We give settings in which each is the more profitable contract and show that welfare can be worse with market-share contracts.
    Keywords: Exclusive dealing, Market-share contracts, Dominant Firm, Foreclosure
    JEL: L13 L41 L42 K21 D86
    Date: 2016–11
  4. By: Martin von Lampe; Koen Deconinck
    Abstract: This report provides a conceptual foundation for the analysis of international regulatory co-operation (IRC) and its potential benefits through reduced trade costs. Different forms of IRC aiming to reduce specification, conformity assessment and information costs - which can arise from regulatory heterogeneity, costly conformity assessment procedures and insufficient regulatory transparency – are addressed. The report argues that trade costs need to be balanced against the regulatory objectives of mitigating various market imperfections. Integrating these two elements often allows significant gains in terms of national welfare, gains that can be augmented by negotiated outcomes among trading partners. IRC may also have important effects on trade with third countries. Related welfare implications are, however, ambiguous and depend on the specifics of the IRC outcome as well as on third countries’ own regulations.
    Keywords: conformity assessment costs, game theory, information costs, Nash equilibrium, regulation, specification costs, trade costs
    JEL: C72 K23 D61 L51 F13 C71 C73 D60
    Date: 2016–12–20
  5. By: Michael D. Frakes; Melissa F. Wasserman
    Abstract: Despite much theoretical attention over the concept of procrastination and much exploration of this phenomenon in laboratory settings, there remain few empirical investigations into procrastination in real world contexts, especially in the workplace. In this paper, we attempt to fill these gaps by exploring procrastination among U.S. patent examiners. We find that nearly half of examiners’ first substantive reports are completed immediately prior to the operable deadlines. Moreover, we find a range of additional empirical markers to support that this “endloading” of reviews results from a model of procrastination rather than various time-consistent models of behavior. In one such approach, we take advantage of the natural experiment afforded by the Patent Office’s staggered implementation of its telecommuting program, a development that we theorize might exacerbate employee self-control problems. Supporting the procrastination theory, we estimate an immediate spike in application endloading and other indicia of procrastination upon the onset of telecommuting. Finally, we assess the consequences of procrastination for the quality of the completed reviews. This analysis suggests that the primary harm stemming from procrastination is delay in the ultimate application process, with rushed reviews completed at deadlines resulting in the need for revisions in subsequent rounds of review.
    JEL: D03 J01 K0 O34
    Date: 2016–12
  6. By: Charles M. Cameron; John M. de Figueiredo; David E. Lewis
    Abstract: We model personnel policies in public agencies, examining how wages and promotion standards can partially offset a fundamental contracting problem: the inability of public sector workers to contract on performance, and the inability of political masters to contract on forbearance from meddling. Despite the dual contracting problem, properly constructed personnel policies can encourage intrinsically motivated public sector employees to invest in expertise, seek promotion, remain in the public sector, and develop policy projects. However, doing so requires internal personnel policies that sort "slackers" from "zealots." Personnel policies that accomplish this task are quite different in agencies where acquired expertise has little value in the private sector, and agencies where acquired expertise commands a premium in the private sector. Finally, even with well-designed personnel policies, there remains an inescapable trade-off between political control and expertise acquisition.
    JEL: H11 J24 J45 K2
    Date: 2016–12
  7. By: Bellini, Simona
    Abstract: In 2007 the Commission proposed a Directive aimed exclusively at third-country nationals moving to Europe for the purpose of highly qualified employment that would set up a harmonized entry procedure, lay down common residence conditions and facilitate mobility through Europe. The Directive, named Blue Card, was meant to make Europe more attractive for highly qualified migrants by offering a fast-track entry procedure and social benefits in the EU. The Commission, despite the reluctance of Member States, managed to push through the Directive, which was finally approved in 2009. In the first three years since the Blue Card first entered into force in the majority of Member States in 2012, no more than 30,352 cards have been issued, of which about 26,200 by a single Member State. Why? Through a detailed analysis of the conditions set by the Directive and their comparison with the ones posed by the national labour migration schemes - in particular in Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands -, this paper aims to demonstrate that the causes of failure are not to search in the Blue Card instrument per se, but rather in the ways this has been implemented in the single Member States.
    Keywords: European Blue Card,labour migration,third-country migrants,labour shortage,high-skilled migrants,European economic competitiveness,free movement of labour,harmonization,knowledge economy,reallocation of workers,single market,sovereignty,shared competences
    JEL: K37 J20 J23 J31 J61 J88
    Date: 2016

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