nep-law New Economics Papers
on Law and Economics
Issue of 2018‒07‒30
twelve papers chosen by
Eve-Angeline Lambert, Université de Lorraine

  1. Prices, policing and policy: the dynamics of crime booms and busts By Kirchmaier, Thomas; Machin, Stephen; Sandi, Matteo; Witt, Robert
  2. Optimal Law Enforcement with Sophisticated and Naive Offenders By Berno Buechel; Eberhard Feess; Gerd Muehlheusser
  3. Metal crime: the impact of prices, policing and policy By Tom Kirchmaier; Stephen Machin; Matteo Sandi; Robert Witt
  4. Optimal Cross-Licensing Arrangements: Collusion versus Entry Deterrence By Choi, Jay Pil; Gerlach, Heiko
  5. Measuring Organized Crime: Statistical Indicators and Economics Aspects By Carlo Capuano; Massimiliano Giacalone
  7. Insurance Law and Incomplete Contracts By Jean-Marc Bourgeon; Pierre Picard
  8. Secrets for sale? Innovation and the nature of knowledge in an early industrial district: the Potteries, 1750-1851 By Lane, Joseph
  10. Violence while in Utero: The Impact of Assaults During Pregnancy on Birth Outcomes By Janet Currie; Michael Mueller-Smith; Maya Rossin-Slater
  11. Transaction costs and institutional change of trade litigations in Bulgaria By Shteryo Nozharov; Petya Koralova-Nozharova
  12. The Development Dimension of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation By Ayoki, Milton

  1. By: Kirchmaier, Thomas; Machin, Stephen; Sandi, Matteo; Witt, Robert
    Abstract: In many historical episodes, the extent of criminal activity has displayed booms and busts. One very clear example is the case of metal crime, where in the face of big increases in value driven by world commodity prices, the incidence of metal thefts in the UK (and elsewhere) rose very sharply in the 2000s. Early in the current decade, they fell sharply again. This paper studies the roles of prices, policing and policy in explaining these crime dynamics. The empirical analysis shows sizeable and significant metal crime-price elasticities, in line with the idea that changing economic returns do shape crime. However, the rapid upward and downward trends are not only due to price changes. Their temporal evolution is also explained by changes in policing and policy. On the former, a difference-indifferences approach is used to document an important role of policing as a consequence of an antimetal crime operation introduced in 2012. On the latter, the introduction of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 is exploited to study the impact of policy on the economic activity of scrap metal dealers in England and Wales. Results from our difference-in-differences specification suggest that the tougher regulatory system introduced by the policy hindered the economic activity of pre-existing dealers, reflecting the reduced market size for potential metal criminals to sell what they have stolen.
    Keywords: metal crime; metal prices; commodity prices
    JEL: K42
    Date: 2018–03–01
  2. By: Berno Buechel; Eberhard Feess; Gerd Muehlheusser
    Abstract: Research in criminology has shown that the perceived risk of apprehension often differs substantially from the true level. To account for this insight, we extend the standard economic model of law enforcement (Becker, 1968) by considering two types of offenders, sophisticates and naïves. The former are always fully informed about the enforcement effort, the latter become informed only when the effort is revealed by the authority; otherwise, naïves rely on their perceptions. We characterize the optimal enforcement effort and the decision whether to hide or reveal it. The welfare-maximizing authority chooses either a relatively high effort which is then revealed, or it chooses a relatively low effort which remains hidden. The latter policy becomes more favorable, the larger the share of naïves in the population and the higher their level of perceived effort. We then analyze three empirically important extensions, thereby allowing for lower efficacy of the enforcement effort due to avoidance activities, endogenous fines, and heterogeneity with respect to naïves’ perceptions.
    Keywords: optimal law enforcement, deterrence, behavioral law & economics, naïveté, shrouding
    JEL: K42 D73
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Tom Kirchmaier; Stephen Machin; Matteo Sandi; Robert Witt
    Abstract: Metal prices are strong drivers of metal crime, according to research by Tom Kirchmaier and colleagues. Their study traces how, over the past ten years, big rises in commodity prices led to a boom in metal crime in the UK, which was followed by a bust as prices fell.
    Keywords: metal crime, metal prices, commodity prices
    JEL: K42
    Date: 2018–07
  4. By: Choi, Jay Pil (Michigan State University, Department of Economics); Gerlach, Heiko (University of Queensland)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes optimal cross-licensing arrangements between incumbent firms in the presence of potential entrants. The optimal cross-licensing royalty rate trades off incentives to sustain a collusive outcome vis-a-vis incentives to deter entry with the threat of patent litigation. We show that a positive cross-licensing royalty rate, which would otherwise relax competition and sustain a collusive outcome, dulls incentives to litigate against entrants. Our analysis can shed light on the puzzling practice of royalty free cross-licensing arrangements between competing firms in the same industry as such arrangements enhance incentives to litigate against any potential entrants and can be used as entry-deterrence mechanism.
    Keywords: cross-licensing arrangements; patent litigation; collusion; entry deterrence
    JEL: D43 L13 O30
    Date: 2018–07–10
  5. By: Carlo Capuano; Massimiliano Giacalone
    Abstract: One of the most negative factors that characterize Italian economy and society is the pervasive and oppressive presence of organized crime, affecting many aspects of the daily live and every sector of business. The data unfortunately show how this phenomenon is increasingly growing and involves more and more aspects of our society (Albanese & Marinelli, 2013). In recent years there have been peaceful demonstrations but also concrete acts by the police that has made numerous arrests and thwarted many robberies. (Calderoni, 2014). However, the work done in recent years is not sufficient to definitively delete organized crime (OC), even more difficult and targeted intervention by the institutions is needed in order to definitively resolve this question. (Fedeli et al., 2017; Visco of the Bank of Italy, 2014). This work introduces new indexes that measure and compare organized crime in different territories. We apply then to Italian provinces and we obtain a ranking at national level.
    Keywords: Crime severity rate, index of criminality, organized crime, territorial indicators, economic impact, average edictal penalties.
    JEL: O17 O30 C73 R11 K14 K42
    Date: 2018–06–11
  6. By: Dorothy S. McClellan (Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi); Nikola Knez (21st Century Society for Human Rights & Education)
    Abstract: This presentation examines violations of international law in Europe at the end of World War II that resulted in what is referred to as The Bleiburg Massacre and Operation Slaughterhouse. Through analysis of historical documents, newly released evidence of mass graves, and interviews with survivors, military intelligence officers, and scholars, we trace the forced repatriation to Yugoslavia of 700,000 Croatian civilians and military personnel who sought asylum in Austria at the close of World War II. The study provides support for the thesis of complicity of British authorities with Josip Broz Tito in violation of the Geneva Conventions. Data suggest that the violations of international law led to the death of the overwhelming majority of these individuals at the hands of Yugoslav Partisans through death marches and mass executions. The presentation includes excerpts from a documentary film on the subject currently in production by the authors.
    Keywords: genocide, international law violations, Geneva Conventions, World War II, Bleiburg Massacre, war crimes
    JEL: K33 K42 D74
    Date: 2017–07
  7. By: Jean-Marc Bourgeon (ECO-PUB - Economie Publique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - AgroParisTech, Département d'Économie de l'École Polytechnique - X - École polytechnique); Pierre Picard (X - École polytechnique)
    Abstract: Under moral hazard, most insurance contracts are incomplete, to the extent that they condition the coverage neither on the contingencies under which policyholders choose their behavior, nor on the circumstances of the loss. This incompleteness can be explained by underwriting and auditing costs borne by insurers, by policyholders cognitive costs, and by the limits of market regulation. It opens the door to controversies and disputes between insured and insurer. In this context, we analyze how insurance law can mitigate moral hazard, by allowing insurers to cut indemnities in some circumstances, while preventing them from excessive nitpicking. We also highlight conditions under which the burden of proof should be on the policyholders, provided that insurers are threatened by bad faith penalties.
    Keywords: incomplete contracts,moral hazard,insurance
    Date: 2018–07–04
  8. By: Lane, Joseph
    Abstract: This paper investigates innovation and knowledge in the North Staffordshire Potteries during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It evaluates new empirical evidence of formal and informal patterns of knowledge creation and dissemination in order to highlight tensions between forms of open knowledge sharing and the appropriation of returns to innovative activity. By presenting new patent data it shows that formal protection was not a widespread strategy in the industry. It uses patent specifications to determine what specific types of knowledge were, and could be, patented in the district, and by whom. A range of sources are used to demonstrate evidence of innovation and knowledge appropriation outside of the patent system. The paper identifies distinct types of knowledge in the industry and shows how differences in these led to a range of strategies being employed by potters, with the role of secrecy highlighted as a particularly prevalent and effective strategy.
    Keywords: Industrial Revolution; Intellectual Property; Patents; Innovation; Earthenware; Industrial District; Technology; Knowledge
    JEL: D83 L61 N63 N73 N91 O34
    Date: 2018–07
  9. By: Oluwafifehan Ogunde (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: On 2nd May 2015, the (now former) president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan signed into law the Violence Against Persons (prohibition) Bill. The law in effect prohibits all forms of violence against persons and particularly for the purpose of women and child rights, criminalizes the practice popularly known as female genital mutilation (FGM). Unsurprisingly, many human rights activists regard this development as a step in the right direction as far as human rights protection in Nigeria is concerned. There are however some issues, especially in relation to the constitutional and cultural outlook of the Nigerian society which the author of this article regards as highly significant as far as implementation of the law is concerned. The article aims to consider these issues in line with a predominant argument that there should be an increased focus on developing a ?rights protection culture? in the Nigerian society through other measures outside legislative enactments.
    Keywords: Nigeria,Rights, Violence, Law, Society,
    JEL: N00
    Date: 2017–07
  10. By: Janet Currie; Michael Mueller-Smith; Maya Rossin-Slater
    Abstract: Causal evidence of the effects of violent crime on its victims is sparse. Yet such evidence is needed to determine the social cost of crime and to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of policy interventions in the justice system. This study presents new evidence on the effects of violent crime on pregnancy and infant health outcomes, using unique linked administrative data from New York City. We merge birth records with maternal residential addresses to the locations of reported crimes, and focus on mothers who lived in a home where an assault was reported during their pregnancies. We compare these mothers to women who lived in a home with an assault that took place shortly after the birth. We find that assaults in the 3rd trimester significantly increase rates of very low birth weight (less than 1,500 grams) and very pre-term (less than 34 weeks gestation) births, possibly through a higher likelihood of induced labor. We show that our results are robust to multiple choices of control groups and to using maternal fixed effects models. We calculate that these impacts translate into a social cost per assault during pregnancy of $41,771, and a total annual cost of over $4.25 billion when scaled by the national victimization rate. As infant health is a strong predictor of life-long well-being, and women of lower socioeconomic status are more likely to be victims of domestic abuse than their more advantaged counterparts, our results suggest that in utero subjection to violent crime is an important new channel for intergenerational transmission of inequality.
    JEL: I14 I31 J12 J13 K14
    Date: 2018–07
  11. By: Shteryo Nozharov; Petya Koralova-Nozharova
    Abstract: The methods of new institutional economics for identifying the transaction costs of trade litigations in Bulgaria are used in the current paper. For the needs of the research, an indicative model, measuring this type of costs on microeconomic level, is applied in the study. The main purpose of the model is to forecast the rational behavior of trade litigation parties in accordance with the transaction costs in the process of enforcing the execution of the signed commercial contract. The application of the model is related to the more accurate measurement of the transaction costs on microeconomic level, which fact could lead to better prediction and management of these costs in order market efficiency and economic growth to be achieved. In addition, it is made an attempt to be analysed the efficiency of the institutional change of the commercial justice system and the impact of the reform of the judicial system over the economic turnover. The augmentation or lack of reduction of the transaction costs in trade litigations would mean inefficiency of the reform of the judicial system. JEL Codes: O43, P48, D23, K12
    Date: 2018–07
  12. By: Ayoki, Milton
    Abstract: The focus on development adopted at the WTO’s Doha Ministerial Meeting in 2001 has changed the architecture of multilateral trade negotiations, with development issues assuming a central position in the WTO negotiation spaces and agreements. In this paper, we assess the extent to which the concerns of developing countries have been addressed in the TFA substantive provisions and special and differential treatment (S&DT) provisions for developing countries. We find that the TFA approach resembles a traditional approach to addressing concerns of developing countries and follows closely the already trodden path of the Uruguay S&DT discipline. An important cluster of issues that did not find its way into the TFA is that relating to regional approach in implementation of TFA. The TFA holds the promise of contributing positively to the development process in less developed countries if the promise of support is realized and developing countries set clear and objective targets to make effective use of the assistance, but in itself may not guarantee the realization of development objectives for developing and least developed countries. Provision of support and capacity building are unguranteed by nonbinding nature of the relevant provisions. This is the input that international partners could, and should, make to the realization of development objec-tive of TFA.
    Keywords: Trade faciliation agreement, development issues, special and differential treatment, developing countries, trade and development, WTO.
    JEL: F13 K33
    Date: 2017–12–29

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