nep-law New Economics Papers
on Law and Economics
Issue of 2019‒12‒16
fourteen papers chosen by
Eve-Angeline Lambert, Université de Lorraine

  1. Beneficial effect of adjusted sentences on recidivism in France: investigating the hidden role of the judge By Aline Désesquelles; Annie Kensey; Laurent Toulemon
  2. New evidence on determinants of IP litigation: A market-based approach By Dirk Czarnitzki; Kristof Van Criekingen
  3. Testing liberal norms: the public policy and public security derogations and the cracks in European Union citizenship. Working Paper. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-18, University of Warwick By Ferreira, Nuno; Kostakopoulou, Dora
  4. How Economists Entered the 'Numbers Game': Measuring Discrimination in the U.S. Courtrooms, 1971-1989 By Chassonnery-Zaïgouche, Cléo
  5. Foreclosure Externalities and Vacant Property Registration Ordinances By Biswas, Arnab; Cunningham, Chris; Gerardi, Kristopher S.; Sexton, Daniel
  6. Police Trust and Domestic Violence: Evidence from Immigration Policies By Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina; Arenas-Arroyo, Esther
  7. The WTO’s Existential Crisis: How to Salvage Its Ability to Settle Trade Disputes By Jeffrey J. Schott; Euijin Jung
  8. The Relationship Between Open Source Software and Standard Setting By Knut Blind; Mirko Bohm
  9. How Prevalent Were Racially Restrictive Covenants in 20th Century Philadelphia? A New Spatial Data Set Provides Answers By Santucci, Larry
  10. Merger Policy in Digital Markets: An Ex-Post Assessment By Elena Argentesi; Paolo Buccirossi; Emilio Calvano; Tomaso Duso; Alessia Marrazzo; Salvatore Nava
  11. The Surprising Hybrid Pedigree of Measures of Diversity and Economic Concentration By Paolo M. Adajar; Ernst R. Berndt; Rena M. Conti
  12. The Effect of Leniency Rule on Cartel Formation and Stability: Experiments with Open Communication By Maximilian Andres; Lisa Bruttel; Jana Friedrichsen
  13. Prostitution and Violence: Evidence from Sweden By Perrotta Berlin, Maria; Spagnolo, Giancarlo; Immordino, Giovanni; F. Russo, Francesco
  14. Occupational licensing and job mobility in the United States By Mikkel Hermansen

  1. By: Aline Désesquelles; Annie Kensey; Laurent Toulemon
    Abstract: Adjusted sentences may be considered as detrimental or favorable to former offenders' re-entry. According to the "labelling theory", alternative-to-incarceration sentences reduce recidivism because they are less stigmatizing than prison. The defenders of the "deterrence theory" consider that they are too soft to prevent people from reoffending. Results from the most recent study conducted in France, show that, after controlling for several characteristics of the former inmates, recidivism is significantly higher among those who had fully served a prison sentence than among those who benefited from an adjusted sentence. However, this does not prove a direct effect of these measures. Beneficiaries may be selected among offenders with lower risks of recidivism. Judges in charge of sentences execution also take into account the socioeconomic environment the inmates will find upon release. In this study, we use a cohort built by the French Ministry of Justice (6,869 inmates followed over 5 years after release) to further investigate this issue. The database includes the information on the court in charge of the inmate's execution of sentence. We use the inter-court disparity in granting adjusted sentences to capture part of the unobserved heterogeneity between inmates and examine how it impacts on the link with recidivism.
    Keywords: Population carcérale, Récidive, Aménagements de peine, Système judiciaire, Hétérogénéité non-observée, France, POPULATION CARCERALE / PRISONERS, JUSTICE / JUSTICE, FRANCE / FRANCE
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Dirk Czarnitzki; Kristof Van Criekingen
    Abstract: We contribute to the economic literature on patent litigation by taking a new perspective. In the past, scholars mostly focused on specific litigation cases at the patent level and related technological characteristics to the event of litigation. However, observing IP disputes suggests that not only technological characteristics may trigger litigation suits, but also the market positions of firms, and that firms dispute not only about single patents but often about portfolios. Consequently, this paper examines the occurrence of IP litigation cases in Belgian firms using the 2013 Community Innovation Survey with supplemental information on IP litigation and patent portfolios. The rich survey information regarding firms’ general innovation strategies enables us to introduce market-related variables such as sales with new products as well as sales based mainly on imitation and incremental innovation. Our results indicate that when controlling for firms’ IP portfolio, the composition of turnover in terms of innovations and imitations has additional explanatory power regarding litigation propensities. Firms with a high turnover from innovations are more likely to become plaintiffs in court. Contrastingly, firms with a high turnover from incremental innovation and imitation are more likely to become defendants in court, and, moreover, are more likely to negotiate settlements outside of court.
    Keywords: IP litigation, patenting, innovation, imitation
    Date: 2018–04
  3. By: Ferreira, Nuno (University of Sussex); Kostakopoulou, Dora
    Abstract: European Union law has curtailed the traditional discretion Member States have in ordering non-nationals to leave their territory. Although Directive 2004/28 (the Citizenship Directive) has enhanced the system of protection afforded to offending European Union citizens, it still contains a number of cracks that lead to policy incoherence and gaps in rights protection. This is evident in the first rulings on Article 28(3) of Directive 2004/38 concerning the deportation of offending EU citizens. These issues also threaten to transform European Union citizenship from a fundamental status into a thin overlay that, under pressure from national executive power, loses its effect and significance. To be sure, EU citizenship has demonstrated that community belonging does not have to be based on organic-national qualities, cultural commonalities, or individuals' conformity to national values, but the continued deportation of long-term resident Union citizens makes nationality the ultimate determinant of belonging. The subsequent discussion suggests possible remedies and makes recommendations for institutional reform.
    Date: 2018–10–15
  4. By: Chassonnery-Zaïgouche, Cléo (University of Lausanne)
    Abstract: The paper explores why and how economists entered the courtrooms as expert witnesses in employment discrimination cases in the US. The main sources are published legal decisions. I analyze the courts’ and economists’ discourses on the use of a specific method, multiple regression analysis in relation to litigation history, academic debates, and the institutional settings of expertise within the courts. I first show how the early reception of the method in the late 1970s did not involve systematic rejection from the courts but rather a large amount of skepticism. I then illustrate how economic theory underlying the method was progressively introduced in the “judicial tool-kit” and how the debates in the courtrooms relates to the debates in academia in the 1980s. Finally, by 1989, practical and ethical questions regarding the institutional settings of experts’ testimony took center stage, reflecting the increasing professionalization of forensic economics.
    Date: 2019–06–05
  5. By: Biswas, Arnab (University of Wisconsin-Stout); Cunningham, Chris (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta); Gerardi, Kristopher S. (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta); Sexton, Daniel (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta)
    Abstract: This paper tests the effectiveness of vacant property registration ordinances (VPROs) in reducing negative externalities from foreclosures. VPROs were widely adopted by local governments across the United States during the foreclosure crisis and facilitated the monitoring and enforcement of existing property maintenance laws. We implement a border discontinuity design combined with a triple-difference specification to overcome policy endogeneity concerns, and we find that the enactment of VPROs in Florida more than halved the negative externality from foreclosure. This finding is robust to a rich set of time-by-location fixed effects, limiting the sample to properties within 0.1 miles of a VPRO/non-VPRO border and to a number of other sample restrictions and falsification exercises. The results suggest that an important driver of the negative price effect of nearby foreclosures is a non-pecuniary externality where the failure to maintain or secure a property affects one's neighbors.
    Keywords: mortgage default; foreclosure; externality; policy; vacancy
    JEL: H23 R28 R52
    Date: 2019–12–01
  6. By: Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina (University of California, Merced); Arenas-Arroyo, Esther (Vienna University of Economics and Business)
    Abstract: Domestic violence is a serious under-reported crime in the United States, especially among immigrant women. While the Violence against Women Act (VAWA) allows battered immigrants to petition for legal status without relying on abusive U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident spouses, we find that intensified interior immigration enforcement has curbed the VAWA self-petition rate. In contrast, sanctuary policies limiting the cooperation of police with immigration authorities have helped counteract that impact. The results, which prove robust to alternative measures of the policies, support the hypothesized changes in victims' reporting in response to the policies. Understanding survivors' responses to immigration policy is crucial given growing police mistrust and vulnerability to crime among immigrants.
    Keywords: immigration enforcement, trust acts, domestic violence, United States
    JEL: J12 J16 J15 K37
    Date: 2019–10
  7. By: Jeffrey J. Schott (Peterson Institute for International Economics); Euijin Jung (Peterson Institute for International Economics)
    Abstract: US refusal to allow the appointment of new judges (or members) to the World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body—a key component of its renowned dispute settlement system—has pushed the organization into an existential crisis. The Appellate Body no longer has the requisite number of members to hear new cases on appeal. The terms of two of the three remaining members have expired, leaving the WTO without an appeal function. US officials charge that certain Appellate Body decisions on WTO dispute panel rulings have expanded WTO obligations and constrained WTO rights—what trade lawyers call “judicial overreach”—and so they have blocked the appointment of new Appellate Body members until other WTO countries address US complaints. Schott and Jung analyze the WTO cases brought against the United States and find that the problem of judicial overreach seems to surface primarily in a subset of US losses in antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) cases that target specific methods of calculating dumping margins. They warn that disabling the whole appellate system is a disproportionate response to the specific problem. It will weaken enforcement of WTO obligations and undermine prospects for negotiations to update the WTO rulebook, thus corroding the rules-based trading system, one that has been modeled on US law and practice. A better approach would be to exempt AD/CVD cases from appellate review (while still subjecting them to dispute panel rulings). This targeted change in the WTO Appellate Body process, coupled with procedural reforms already advanced in proposals that have been widely supported by WTO members, could mitigate US concerns and allow the Appellate Body to be repopulated.
    Date: 2019–12
  8. By: Knut Blind; Mirko Bohm
    Abstract: This report has been developed in the framework of the 2017 Communication of the European Commission ‘Setting out the EU approach to Standard Essential Patents’ (COM(2017) 712 final). In this Communication there is a direct commitment that 'The Commission will work with stakeholders, open source communities and SDOs for successful interaction between open source and standardisation, by means of studies and analyses'. Standards and open source development are both processes widely adopted in the ICT industry to develop innovative technologies and drive their adoption in the market. Innovators and policy makers assume that a closer collaboration between standards and open source software development would be mutually beneficial. The interaction between the two is however not yet fully understood, especially with regard to how the intellectual property regimes applied by these organisations influence their ability and motivation to cooperate. This study provides a comprehensive analysis of the interaction between standard development organisations (SDOs) and open source software (OSS) communities. The analysis is based on 20 case studies, a survey of stakeholders involved in SDOs and OSS communities, an expert workshop, and a comprehensive review of the literature.
    Keywords: Open source software development, standard development organization, intellectual property rights, intellectual property policies, FRAND licensing
    Date: 2019–11
  9. By: Santucci, Larry (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)
    Abstract: One of the tools used by early 20th century developers, builders, and white homeowners to prevent African Americans from accessing parts of the residential real estate market was the racially restrictive covenant. In this paper, we present a newly constructed spatial data set of properties in the city of Philadelphia with deeds that contained a racially restrictive covenant at any time from 1920 to 1932. To date, we have reviewed hundreds of thousands of property deeds and identified nearly 4,000 instances in which a racial covenant had been included in the deed. The covenanted properties formed an invisible barrier to less densely populated areas sought after by white residents and around predominantly white neighborhoods throughout the city. We present the data in a series of geospatial maps and discuss plans for future enhancements to the data set.
    Keywords: racially restrictive covenants; exclusionary zoning; segregation; race; property; Philadelphia
    JEL: J15 K11 R12
    Date: 2019–11–18
  10. By: Elena Argentesi; Paolo Buccirossi; Emilio Calvano; Tomaso Duso; Alessia Marrazzo; Salvatore Nava
    Abstract: This paper presents a broad retrospective evaluation of mergers and merger decisions in the digital sector. We first discuss the most crucial features of digital markets such as network effects, multi-sidedness, big data, and rapid innovation that create important challenges for competition policy. We show that these features have been key determinants of the theories of harm in major merger cases in the past few years. We then analyse the characteristics of almost 300 acquisitions carried out by three major digital companies –Amazon, Facebook, and Google – between 2008 and 2018. We cluster target companies on their area of economic activity and show that they span a wide range of economic sectors. In most cases, their products and services appear to be complementary to those supplied by the acquirers. Moreover, target companies seem to be particularly young, being four-years-old or younger in nearly 60% of cases at the time of the acquisition. Finally, we examine two important merger cases, Facebook/Instagram and Google/Waze, providing a systematic assessment of the theories of harm considered by the UK competition authorities as well as evidence on the evolution of the market after the transactions were approved. We discuss whether the CAs performed complete and careful analyses to foresee the competitive consequences of the investigated mergers and whether a more effective merger control regime can be achieved within the current legal framework.
    Keywords: Digital Markets, Mergers, Network Effects, Big Data, Platforms, Ex-post, Antitrust
    JEL: L4 K21
    Date: 2019
  11. By: Paolo M. Adajar; Ernst R. Berndt; Rena M. Conti
    Abstract: Measures of economic concentration, such as the k-firm concentration index and the Hirschman-Herfindahl Index (HHI) are commonly used to ascertain the competitiveness of a product market. Within a Cournot model industry equilibrium, it is known a relationship exists between the HHI and the gap between industry price and marginal cost, but the economic theory foundations and intuition underlying the HHI formula are seemingly arbitrary. Here we document that there are indeed powerful and intuitive theoretical foundations to the HHI, but those foundations emanate from outside economics, namely, ecology, where the HHI is known as Simpson’s Diversity Index. We discuss the origins of the HHI and Simpson’s Diversity Index, summarize other measures of concentration, and link them to common measures of inequality. Based on a priori reasoning, we conclude there is little on which to base a choice between the HHI and non-HHI measures of market concentration. We empirically illustrate the implementation of the HHI and other concentration indexes as the statin drug LipitorTM lost patent protection and faced generic competition in 2012; we find very similar empirical trends and high correlations among them. Our research provides support for the continued use of HHI as a measure of concentration, provided one recognizes its link to market power is equivocal.
    JEL: B4 C43 D22 D4 I1 K21 L1 L4 L5
    Date: 2019–11
  12. By: Maximilian Andres; Lisa Bruttel; Jana Friedrichsen
    Abstract: Cartels can severely harm social welfare. Competition authorities introduced leniency rules to destabilize existing cartels and hinder the formation of new ones. Empirically, it is difficult to judge the success of these measures because functioning cartels are unobservable. Existing experimental studies confirm that a leniency rule indeed reduces cartelization. We extend these studies by having a participant in the role of the competition authority actively participating in the experiment. Based on chat communication content and price setting behavior, this authority judges whether firms formed a cartel and decides on fines in real time. We find that a leniency rule does not affect cartelization in this setup.
    Keywords: Cartels, corporate leniency programs, Bertrand competition, experiments
    JEL: C92 D43 L41
    Date: 2019
  13. By: Perrotta Berlin, Maria (Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics); Spagnolo, Giancarlo (Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics); Immordino, Giovanni (Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics); F. Russo, Francesco (Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of the “Nordic Model” of prostitution legislation adopted in Sweden in 1999, according to which buyers only are prosecuted. We focus on various measures of violence, distinguishing between known and unknown perpetrator, indoor and outdoor crimes, and on health outcomes such as hospitalizations. This allows us to assess whether violence occurs within the prostitution market, or outside of it, namely as domestic violence. The empirical analysis shows an increase in violence as a consequence of the criminalization of buyers, but mostly ascribable to domestic violence rather than violence towards sex workers. We propose a model that rationalizes our conclusions on the source of the increase in violence and to simulate the effects of other policies.
    Keywords: Prostitution; Regulation; Prohibition; Laissez-faire; Violence
    JEL: I14
    Date: 2019–12–09
  14. By: Mikkel Hermansen
    Abstract: This paper studies the association between occupational licensing and job hire and job separation rates along with earnings of job stayers and job-to-job movers. In contrast to previous studies, it attempts to provide macro-level estimates by relying on a novel Job-to-Job Flows database from the U.S. Census Bureau, covering the near universe of job transitions. The empirical analysis exploits variation in licensing regulation across states and industries and constructs indicators for both the share of employment subject to licensing (the extensive margin) and the strictness of regulation (the intensive margin). Results show that more extensive and stricter licensing are both associated with lower job mobility. This holds for job-to-job mobility as well as for transitions in and out of nonemployment. The strictness indicator points to lower job-to-job mobility from entry restrictions and renewal requirements to licensing, while education and training requirements may increase job-to-job mobility. The analysis also finds a negative association between licensing restrictions for people with a criminal record and job hire from nonemployment. Further analysis shows that interstate job-to-job mobility tends to be lower towards states with more extensive and stricter licensing regulation. The results from the analysis of earnings are generally mixed and mostly insignificant. However, there is some evidence of lower earnings gains from job-to-job moves to states with more licensing within the same industry, which may reflect lower productivity growth because of weaker reallocation of labour resources and reduced competition.
    Keywords: earnings, entry restrictions, job mobility, occupational licensing, regulation
    JEL: E24 J30 J44 J61 K20 L51
    Date: 2019–12–17

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