nep-law New Economics Papers
on Law and Economics
Issue of 2021‒02‒15
twelve papers chosen by
Eve-Angeline Lambert, Université de Lorraine

  1. School indiscipline and crime By Beatton, Tony; Kidd, Michael P.; Sandi, Matteo
  2. Financing the Litigation Arms Race By Antill, Samuel; Grenadier, Steven R.
  3. Comparing conventional and machine-learning approaches to risk assessment in domestic abuse cases By Jeffrey Grogger; Ria Ivandic; Tom Kirchmaier
  4. Drivers and persistence of death in conflicts: global evidence By Simplice A. Asongu; Joseph I. Uduji; Elda N. Okolo-Obasi
  5. Heterogeneity in criminal behavior after child birth: the role of ethnicity By Dasgupta, Kabir; Diegmann, André; Kirchmaier, Thomas; Plum, Alexander
  6. Deprivation of Liberty - Medical Punishment during the State of Emergency in Romania By Marius-Adrian Arva
  7. How Does Occupational Licensing Affect Entry into the Medical Field? An Examination of EMTs By Yelowitz, Aaron; Ingram, Samuel J.
  8. Influence of the Investigation Process on the Political, Economic and Social Status of the Accused in Criminal Cases in Vietnam By , AISDL
  9. Won't Get Fooled Again: A Supervised Machine Learning Approach for Screening Gasoline Cartels By Douglas Silveira; Silvinha Vasconcelos; Marcelo Resende; Daniel O. Cajueiro
  10. The Impact of Privacy Laws on Online User Behavior By Julia Schmitt; Klaus M. Miller; Bernd Skiera
  11. Does homeownership reduce crime? A radical housing reform in Britain By Richard Disney; John Gathergood; Stephen Machin; Matteo Sandi
  12. The Astonishing Conclusion of the Attribution Debate on the Law of Comparative Advantage By Morales Meoqui, Jorge

  1. By: Beatton, Tony; Kidd, Michael P.; Sandi, Matteo
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of compulsory schooling on violent behaviour and victimization in school using individual-level administrative data matching education and criminal records from Queensland (Australia). Exploiting a legislative increase in the minimum dropout age in 2006, this study defines a series of regression-discontinuity specifications to show that compulsory schooling reduces crime but increases violent behaviour in school. While police records show that property and drugs offences decrease, education records indicate that violence and victimization in school increase. Thus, prior studies that fail to consider in-school behaviour may over-estimate the short-run crime-reducing impact of compulsory education.
    Keywords: youth crime; minimum dropout age; school attendance
    JEL: I20 K42
    Date: 2020–11
  2. By: Antill, Samuel (Harvard U); Grenadier, Steven R. (Stanford U)
    Abstract: Using a continuous-time model of litigation, we show that the increasingly popular practice of third-party litigation financing has ambiguous welfare implications. A defendant and a plaintiff bargain over a settlement payment. The defendant takes costly actions to avoid deadweight losses associated with large transfers to the plaintiff. Litigation financing bolsters the plaintiff, leading to larger deadweight losses. However, by endogenously deterring the defendant from taking costly actions, litigation financing can nonetheless improve the joint surplus of the plaintiff and the defendant. In contrast to popular opinion, litigation financing does not necessarily encourage high-risk frivolous lawsuits.
    JEL: C73 C78 G23 K41
    Date: 2020–11
  3. By: Jeffrey Grogger; Ria Ivandic; Tom Kirchmaier
    Abstract: We compare predictions from a conventional protocol-based approach to risk assessment with those based on a machine-learning approach. We first show that the conventional predictions are less accurate than, and have similar rates of negative prediction error as, a simple Bayes classifier that makes use only of the base failure rate. A random forest based on the underlying risk assessment questionnaire does better under the assumption that negative prediction errors are more costly than positive prediction errors. A random forest based on two-year criminal histories does better still. Indeed, adding the protocol-based features to the criminal histories adds almost nothing to the predictive adequacy of the model. We suggest using the predictions based on criminal histories to prioritize incoming calls for service, and devising a more sensitive instrument to distinguish true from false positives that result from this initial screening.
    Keywords: domestic abuse, risk assessment, machine learning
    JEL: K42
    Date: 2020–02
  4. By: Simplice A. Asongu (Yaounde, Cameroon); Joseph I. Uduji (University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria); Elda N. Okolo-Obasi (University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria)
    Abstract: We investigate persistence and determinants of deaths from conflicts in a sample of 163 countries for the period 2010 to 2015. The empirical evidence is based on Generalised Method of Moments. First, the findings are contingent on income levels, religious-domination, landlockedness, regional proximity and legal origins. The persistence of deaths in internal conflict is more apparent in coastal, French civil-law and Islam-oriented countries, compared to landlocked, English common law, Christian-oriented countries, respectively. Second, the following factors are generally responsible for driving deaths from internal conflicts: homicides, conflict intensity and conflicts fought. Furthermore, incarcerations have negative effects on internal conflicts. Justifications for the established tendencies and policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: War; Conflicts; Global evidence; Persistence
    JEL: H56 L64 K42 P50
    Date: 2020–01
  5. By: Dasgupta, Kabir; Diegmann, André; Kirchmaier, Thomas; Plum, Alexander
    Abstract: This paper documents behavioral differences in parental criminality between majority and minority ethnic groups after child birth. The particular effect we exploit is that of the gender of the first-born child on fathers’ convictions rates. Based on detailed judicial and demographic data from New Zealand, we first show that the previously documented inverse relationship between having a son and father’s criminal behaviour holds across the average of the population. However, when splitting the fathers’ sample by ethnicity, the effect appears to be entirely driven by the white part of the population and that there is no effect on the native Māori. The strong ethnic divide is observed along many dimensions and challenges the implicitly made assumption in the economics of crime literature that findings are universally applicable across cultures and race.
    Keywords: crime research; racial bias
    JEL: K42 K49
    Date: 2020–12
  6. By: Marius-Adrian Arva (Alexandru Ioan Cuza of Bucharest, Romania)
    Abstract: The state of emergency established in Romania as a result of the epidemiological evolution determined the authorities to take extraordinary measures to limit the pandemic's negative effects, being adopted rules stating that individuals for which self-isolation or quarantine was established who do not comply with these measures will be forcibly placed into quarantine, under guard, being held for criminal liability, and also put to pay the expenses incurred. To these considerations, the present study proposes the thesis that the forced quarantine must be assimilated to placing the person in detention, within the meaning of the criminal law for this, contemplating that the state has violated procedural rights of individuals, as well as the right to free access to justice, the measures imposed by the analyzed rules aiming in fact at the most drastic resort possible, without giving the possibility to establish proportionate measures. The study also shows that the rules exceed the framework of the tactical police measure of leading persons to the headquarters of a judiciary organization, as well as that the misdemeanor or criminal punishment of persons who do not comply with the measure of self-isolation or quarantine, complementary to the measure of forced quarantine and the imputation of the expenses occasioned by this measure, violates the criminal procedural principle ne bis in idem, given that the authorities have in fact sought to double sanction individuals targeted by these measures. In order to demonstrate the submitted theses, a qualitative analysis will be made of the concepts captured in the jurisprudence of the constitutional and the supreme courts of Romania, as well as in the cases of interest with which the European Court of Human Rights was invested, not least, pointing the discoveries reported in the criminal doctrine on the elements introduced in this paper.
    Keywords: emergency state, institutionalized quarantine, deprivation of liberty, ne bis in idem, policing
    Date: 2020–09
  7. By: Yelowitz, Aaron (University of Kentucky); Ingram, Samuel J. (Federal Housing Finance Agency)
    Abstract: The COVID‐19 pandemic has led to temporary suspensions of many occupational licensing laws, especially for health care professionals, in an effort to manage surges in health care demand. The crisis highlights more general concerns about occupational licensing laws, yet convincing empirical evidence on the degree to which such laws have inhibited entry into health care professions is scarce because most studies must rely on cross‐sectional variation to identify such effects. In this study, we indirectly examine how occupational licensing affects the choice to become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) by exploiting the demand‐side shock from the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Although demand‐side shocks should increase the likelihood of becoming an EMT relative to other similar non‐medical professions, this effect should be moderated in states with higher barriers to entry. Using a large number of individuals from the American Community Survey (ACS) who work as either EMTs or in a similar non‐medical field (protective services), we find suggestive evidence that while the demand‐side shock from the ACA increased the likelihood of being an EMT, this effect was substantially moderated by more stringent occupational licensing laws. Although the effect for the full sample is marginally significant, the estimated effects are substantially larger for individuals under age 40, who are presumably more flexible in choosing a career path. Evaluated at the average number of days to complete EMT training and the pre‐treatment uninsured rate, the implied effects for young individuals in the most careful specification suggests virtually complete offset; the ACA demand‐side shock would increase entry by 18 percentage points, while occupational licensing restrictions reduce entry by a similar magnitude.
    Keywords: Occupational Licensing, Occupational Choice, Emergency Medical Technicians, Emergency Services
    JEL: J44 K31 I13
    Date: 2021–01
  8. By: , AISDL
    Abstract: According to the regulations of Vietnamese law, the accused is the person prosecuted with a criminal charges. Currently, Vietnam has made many judicial reforms to improve human rights, including reforms in criminal proceedings to protect the human rights of accuseds. However, in reality, due to many objective and subjective reasons, the accused's rights are not guaranteed. Especially in the process of investigation, creating adverse effects on the political, economic and social rights of the accuseds. During special investigation and proceedings, the accused's rights are the most seriously affected. In the framework of the article, the author assesses the impact of these activities in the investigation on the accused. Beside, proposing solutions to protect accuseds, including the need for authorities to compensate for political, economic and social damage caused by the violation of law provisions during the investigation in Vietnam.
    Date: 2020–12–26
  9. By: Douglas Silveira; Silvinha Vasconcelos; Marcelo Resende; Daniel O. Cajueiro
    Abstract: In this article, we combine machine learning techniques with statistical moments of the gasoline price distribution. By doing so, we aim to detect and predict cartels in the Brazilian retail market. In addition to the traditional variance screen, we evaluate how the standard deviation, coefficient of variation, skewness, and kurtosis can be useful features in identifying anti-competitive market behavior. We complement our discussion with the so-called confusion matrix and discuss the trade-offs related to false-positive and false-negative predictions. Our results show that in some cases, false-negative outcomes critically increase when the main objective is to minimize false-positive predictions. We offer a discussion regarding the pros and cons of our approach for antitrust authorities aiming at detecting and avoiding gasoline cartels.
    Keywords: cartel screens, price dynamics, fuel retail market, machine learning
    JEL: C21 C45 C52 K40 L40 L41
    Date: 2021
  10. By: Julia Schmitt; Klaus M. Miller; Bernd Skiera
    Abstract: Policy makers worldwide draft privacy laws that require trading-off between safeguarding consumer privacy and preventing economic damage to companies that use consumer data. However, little empirical knowledge exists as to how privacy laws affect companies' performance. Accordingly, this paper empirically quantifies the effects of the enforcement of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on online user behavior over time, analyzing data from 6,286 websites spanning 24 industries, during the 10 months before and 18 months after the GDPR's enforcement in 2018. A difference-in-differences analysis, with a synthetic control group approach, enables the short- and long-term effects of the GDPR on user behavior to be reliably isolated. The results show that, on average, the GDPR's effects on user quantity and usage intensity were negative; e.g., 3 months (18 months) post-GDPR, the numbers of unique visitors and total visits to a website decreased by 0.8% (6.6%) and 4.9% (10%), respectively. These effects could translate into average revenue losses of 7 million USD for e-commerce websites and almost 2.5 million USD for ad-based websites 18 months after GDPR. The GDPR's effects vary across websites, with some industries even benefiting from it; moreover, more-popular websites suffered less damage, suggesting that the GDPR increased market concentration.
    Date: 2021–01
  11. By: Richard Disney; John Gathergood; Stephen Machin; Matteo Sandi
    Abstract: "Right to Buy" (RTB), a large-scale natural experiment by which incumbent tenants in public housing could buy properties at heavily-subsidised prices, increased the homeownership rate in Britain by over 10 percentage points between 1980 and the late 1990s. This paper studies its impact on crime, showing that RTB generated significant reductions in property and violent crime that persist up to today. The gentrification of incumbent tenants and their behavioural changes were the main drivers of the crime reduction. This is evidence of a novel means by which gentrification, and housing provision, may have contributed to the sizable crime drops observed in several Western economies in the 1990s and early 2000s.
    Keywords: crime, homeownership, public housing
    JEL: H44 K14 R31
    Date: 2020–03
  12. By: Morales Meoqui, Jorge
    Abstract: The recent demystification of David Ricardo’s famous numerical example in chapter 7 of the Principles bears important implications for the longstanding attribution debate on the law of comparative advantage. It has now become apparent that neither Ricardo nor Smith had anything to do with it. In reality, they both adhered to the classical rule for specialization, allegedly refuted by the law of comparative advantage. The unfounded belief in the existence of this so-called law gradually grew out of the confusion created by John Stuart Mill’s misreading of the purpose, content and implications of Ricardo’s four numbers. As shown in the paper, J. S. Mill, James Mill and Robert Torrens also always adhered to the classical rule for specialization. Thus, the law of comparative advantage is nothing more than an illusion, so no one should be credited for it.
    Date: 2021–01–01

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