nep-law New Economics Papers
on Law and Economics
Issue of 2022‒02‒21
eighteen papers chosen by
Eve-Angeline Lambert, Université de Lorraine

  1. Self-Preferencing and Competitive Damages: A Focus on Exploitative Abuses By Patrice Bougette; Oliver Budzinski; Frédéric Marty
  2. Of Coase, Cattle, and Crime: Why the Becker Model is Compatible with a Moral Theory of Criminal Law By Thomas J. Miceli
  3. Investigation Methods of Corruption Cases By Nicoleta-Elena Heghes
  4. The Legal Regime of Contraventions Between the European Criminal Interpretation and the National Approach By Marius-Adrian Arva
  5. Legislative and Jurisprudential Analysis Regarding the Regulation of Online Pharmacies By Cristina-Luiza Erimia
  6. AI-driven Market Manipulation and Limits of the EU law enforcement regime to credible deterrence By Azzutti, Alessio
  7. Social norms or enforcement? A natural field experiment to improve traffic and parking fine compliance By Sinning, Mathias; Zhang, Yinjunjie
  8. Combating online hate speech: The impact of legislation on Twitter By Andres, Raphaela; Slivko, Olga
  9. Consequences of Inconvenient Information: Evidence from Sentencing Disparities By Michal Soltes
  10. Against Settlement before the European Court of Human Rights By Fikfak, Veronika
  11. Measuring Constitutional Loyalty: Evidence from the Covid-19 Pandemic By Gutmann, Jerg; Sarel, Roee; Voigt, Stefan
  12. Protection of Geographical Indications at E.U. Level By Mihai Dorel Vlad; Sara Vlad
  13. Legal Obligation of Maintenance Between Spouses and Former Spouses in the Romanian Law By Ciprian Raul Romitan
  14. Employer market power in Silicon Valley By Matthew Gibson
  15. Imperfect information about consumer rights: Implications for efficiency and distribution By Baumann, Florian; Friehe, Tim; Wenzel, Tobias
  16. The Contemporary Debates on Conservative Family: The Case of the Istanbul Convention By Esra Ozdil Gumus
  17. A study on bribery networks with a focus on harassment bribery and ways to control corruption By Chanchal Pramanik
  18. Quantifying domestic violence in times of crisis By Dan Anderberg; Helmut Rainer; Fabian Siuda

  1. By: Patrice Bougette (Université Côte d'Azur; GREDEG CNRS); Oliver Budzinski (Technische Universität Ilmenau); Frédéric Marty (Université Côte d'Azur, France; GREDEG CNRS)
    Abstract: Conceived as a theory of competitive harm, self-preferencing has been at the core of recent European landmark cases (e.g., Google Android, Google Shopping). In the context of EU competition law, beyond the anti-competitive leveraging effect, self-preferencing may lead to vertical and horizontal exclusionary abuses, encourage exploitation abuses, and generate economic dependence abuses. In this paper, we aim at characterizing the various forms of self-preferencing, investigating platforms' capacity and incentives to do so through their dual role, by shedding light on the economic assessment of these practices in an effects-based approach. We analyze the different options for remedies in this context, by insisting on their necessity, adequacy, and proportionality.
    Keywords: Self-preferencing, antitrust, regulation, European Union competition law, exploitative abuse, Digital Markets Act
    JEL: K21 L12 L40 L42
    Date: 2022–01
  2. By: Thomas J. Miceli (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: The economic model of crime is often portrayed (and criticized) as being contrary to a moral theory of criminal law. This paper advances the opposing view that the two theories are in fact potentially compatible with one another. The basis for this claim is that, whereas the Becker (1968) model is useful in prescribing a theory of optimal enforcement of the law, I will argue that it does not, and indeed cannot, provide a definitive prescription for its content. The reason is the reciprocal nature of harm in situations involving incompatible rights, a principle first identified by Coase (1960) in the general context of externalities. The paper develops this argument, offers a formal demonstration of it, and draws out some of its implications. JEL Classification: K14, K42 Key words: Criminal law, externalities, the Coase Theorem, moral theory of law
    Date: 2022–02
  3. By: Nicoleta-Elena Heghes (Dimitrie Cantemir Christian University of Bucharest, Romania)
    Abstract: The fight against crime is a complex area. We cannot talk about organized crime without talking about corruption offenses, the corruption of police officers, magistrates, civil servants who protect, prevent criminals from various measures that could affect them, which help not to sanction them, aiming to shelter illegal activities committed by them, by the corruption of politicians. Corruption takes place both nationally and internationally, which requires the discovery and sanctioning of the involvement of several jurisdictions, judicial bodies belonging to several states and different laws, transnational corruption being a complex phenomenon and challenging to incriminate and sanction. Due to the complexity of this phenomenon, the investigation of corruption crimes, from a forensic point of view, has special importance. The bodies responsible for combating this scourge must act promptly and with the utmost caution. In order to ensure the correct repression and investigation of corruption offenses, it is necessary to draw special attention to the forensic methodology of investigating acts of corruption.
    Keywords: corruption, forensic investigation, special techniques, facts, crimes
    Date: 2021–06
  4. By: Marius-Adrian Arva (Police Academy “Alexandru Ioan Cuza†of Bucharest, Romania)
    Abstract: In an interdisciplinary manner, through this study, we aim to highlight the outlook attributed by the European Court of Human Rights to the contravention area as a species of criminal law, the deeds characterized in the Romanian legislative system as contraventions enjoying the same treatment as any other criminal offence. We also capture the effects of the contraventional liability removal of certain deeds sanctioned by national law, in contrast to the operable decriminalization in penal law. Last but not least, having as research object, the comparative analysis of the particularities that characterize the Romanian contraventional law, we propose to debate some inadvertences for which the contraventional spectrum must be held to adapt to the accuracy imposed by the criminal law.
    Keywords: criminal charge, contraventional law, decriminalization, mental incapacity.
    Date: 2021–06
  5. By: Cristina-Luiza Erimia (Ovidius University of Constanta, Faculty of Pharmacy, Constanta, Romania)
    Abstract: As a result of the evolution of information and communication technologies, medicines, like other goods, are now increasingly marketed on the EU internal market through these channels. When examining the compatibility of the conditions for the supply of retail medicinal products with European Union law, the Court of Justice has recognized the specific nature of medicinal products, whose therapeutic effect significantly distinguishes them from other goods. Taking into account all these aspects, this article aims to analyze the centralized regulation of online pharmacies in relation to European Union law, the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union, as well as the legislative measures taken at national level to provide medicinal products to the population through the Internet.
    Keywords: European legislation, the Court of Justice of the European Union, public health, legislative initiatives, internal market, patient rights
    Date: 2021–06
  6. By: Azzutti, Alessio
    Abstract: As in many other sectors of EU economies, 'artificial intelligence' (AI) has entered the scene of the financial services industry as a game-changer. Trading on capital markets is undoubtedly one of the most promising AI application domains. A growing number of financial market players have in fact been adopting AI tools within the ramification of algorithmic trading. While AI trading is expected to deliver several efficiency gains, it can also bring unprecedented risks due to the technical specificities and related additional uncertainties of specific 'machine learning' methods. With a focus on new and emerging risks of AI-driven market manipulation, this study critically assesses the ability of the EU anti-manipulation law and enforcement regime to achieve credible deterrence. It argues that AI trading is currently left operating within a (quasi-)lawless market environment with the ultimate risk of jeopardising EU capital markets' integrity and stability. It shows how 'deterrence theory' can serve as a normative framework to think of innovative solutions for fixing the many shortcomings of the current EU legal framework in the fight against AI-driven market manipulation. In concluding, this study suggests improving the existing EU anti-manipulation law and enforcement with a number of policy proposals. Namely, (i) an improved, 'harm-centric' definition of manipulation; (ii) an improved, 'multi-layered' liability regime for AI-driven manipulation; and (iii) a novel, 'hybrid' public-private enforcement institutional architecture through the introduction of market manipulation 'bounty-hunters'.
    Keywords: algorithmic trading,artificial intelligence,market manipulation,market integrity,effective enforcement,credible deterrence
    JEL: G18 G28 G38 K14 K22 K42 O33 O38
    Date: 2022
  7. By: Sinning, Mathias; Zhang, Yinjunjie
    Abstract: Very little is known about the efficient collection of fines despite their indispensable contribution to local government budgets. This paper fills an important gap in the literature by studying the effectiveness of deterrence (enforcement) and non-deterrence (social norms) letters that aim to improve the collection of traffic and parking fines. We discuss potential mechanisms through which these letters may affect fine compliance and present results from a natural field experiment that was implemented in collaboration with the government of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). We find that both letters increase fine payments significantly relative to a control group that did not receive a letter. The effect of the enforcement letter is stronger than that of the social norms letter. Our analysis of heterogenous treatment effects indicates that addressing social norms does not change the behavior of young offenders, those who committed a speeding offence, those with a long outstanding debt and those with a debt above the median. In contrast, the enforcement letter is generally effective across subgroups.
    Keywords: Fine compliance,natural field experiment,nudges,enforcement,social norms
    JEL: H26 K42 C93
    Date: 2021
  8. By: Andres, Raphaela; Slivko, Olga
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of the Network Enforcement Act, the first regulation which aims at restraining hate speech on large social media platforms. Using a difference-in- differences framework, we measure the causal impact of the German law on the prevalence of hateful content on German Twitter. We find evidence of a significant and robust decrease in the intensity and volume of hate speech in tweets tackling sensitive migration-related topics. Importantly, tweets tackling other topics as well as the tweeting style of users are not affected by the regulation, which is in line with its aim. Our results highlight that legislation for combating harmful online content can influence the prevalence of hate speech even in the presence of platform governance mechanisms.
    Keywords: Social Networks,User-Generated Content,Hate Speech,Policy Evaluation
    JEL: H41 J15 K42 L82 L86
    Date: 2021
  9. By: Michal Soltes
    Abstract: Inconvenient information about the performance of public institutions may undermine public trust. In an experiment, I test how information about sentencing disparities among judges in the Czech Republic affects respondents’ perception of the judicial system. I find no effect on respondents’ declared institutional trust and willingness to rely on the formal judicial system. Instead, the information marginally increased respondents’ policy involvement: They became more likely to: (i) sign a petition that invites politicians to address the underlying issue, and (ii) consider fairness of the judicial system a more important policy issue. The increased interest in the petition was driven by mothers, who are arguably more sensitive to the particular treatment information in the presented case of a failure to pay alimony.
    Keywords: information disclosure; institutional trust; performance of public institutions; sentencing disparities;
    JEL: H11 H40 D02 D83 K40
    Date: 2022–01
  10. By: Fikfak, Veronika
    Abstract: Even though they represent almost 50% of all reported cases before the European Court of Human Rights, settlements of human rights violations escape scholars' attention. Whilst victims are increasingly expected to resolve their disputes amicably, it is unclear whether applicants will be better off accepting settlement offers rather than proceeding to litigation. The paper charts the practice of friendly settlements before the Court from 1980s to today, mapping a shift in approach from seeking bilateral solutions to the proactive role of the Registry as mediator encouraging states and applicants to settle their cases to relieve the Court of the heavy workload. The study of 10,500 cases reveals how strategies adopted by the Registry - from procedural changes to how and when consent is given to settlement, to the framing of settlement offers and a close relationship with representatives of the respondent state - have favoured the most frequent violators of the Convention and sidelined the interests of the applicant. The analysis uncovers that the imbalance between parties and lack of enforcement are very much present in the ECtHR settlement system and that the active role of the Registry has reinforced, rather than redressed these concerns. The findings expose the dangers of pursuing en masse settlement in the human rights context and raise concerns about achieving long-term justice for victims of human rights violations through other means than adjudication.
    Date: 2022
  11. By: Gutmann, Jerg; Sarel, Roee; Voigt, Stefan
    Abstract: Constitutional loyalty, the importance ascribed to complying with constitutional rules, is difficult to measure across countries due to differences in context, history, and culture. We overcome this challenge by exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic as an ideal setting in which societies around the world face a novel and similar public health crisis, inducing governments to adopt comparable policies. Based on a survey carried out in 53 countries around the world in 2021, we show that citizens' support for Covid-19 mitigation policies declines if courts signal doubts about their constitutionality. We further demonstrate that this effect of constitutional loyalty depends on citizens' characteristics, such as their confidence in the courts and their moral convictions.
    Keywords: Constitutional loyalty,Constitutions,Courts,Covid-19,Judicial power
    JEL: D02 H12 I18 K40 P48
    Date: 2022
  12. By: Mihai Dorel Vlad (Dimitrie Cantemir Christian University of Bucharest, Romania); Sara Vlad (Dimitrie Cantemir Christian University of Bucharest, Romania)
    Abstract: Already at the beginning of this century there is the impression that the protection of the source indications against false or misleading use is insufficient. In addition, the need to protect and encourage local, traditional production methods was highlighted. In France, the first statute was adopted which provided for the protection of geographical indications by a special title of industrial property, namely the designations of origin. Only products that meet quality standards are protected by designation of origin. Initially, the designations of origin concerned only wines and alcohol, but later, the concept of the designation of origin was extended to include other products (such as dairy products, especially cheese and butter), agricultural and vegetable products. Due to the success of French designations of origin, the same or a similar system was introduced in other countries, mainly in the wine and alcohol sector.
    Keywords: protection, geographical indication, Union law, copyright, legislation
    Date: 2021–06
  13. By: Ciprian Raul Romitan (Romanian-American University, Faculty of Law Romania,)
    Abstract: The legal maintenance obligation is the duty imposed under the law to a person to ensure to the other person the required subsistence means, both in material and spiritual terms. This paper comprises a theoretical and practical review of the maintenance obligation between the spouses and former spouses, following the dissolution of marriage. As it shall follow from our research, the maintenance obligation may materialize at all times during the marriage, including during the divorce trial, of course, subject to the observance of two conditions: the state of need of the maintenance creditor spouse and the material means of the maintenance debtor spouse. At the same time, at the end of the research, we shall find that the divorced spouse is entitled to maintenance if three conditions are met, i.e.: that they are in need, the need must be the consequence of the incapacity for work and that the incapacity occurred within one year as of the dissolution of marriage.
    Keywords: legal maintenance obligation, spouses, former spouses, state of need, material means
    Date: 2021–06
  14. By: Matthew Gibson (Williams College)
    Abstract: Adam Smith alleged that secret employer collusion to reduce labor earnings is common. This paper examines an important case of such behavior: no-poach agreements through which technology companies agreed not to compete for each other's workers. Exploiting the plausibly exogenous timing of a US Department of Justice investigation, I estimate the eects of these agreements using a difference-in-differences design. Data from Glassdoor permit the inclusion of rich employer- and job-level controls. Estimates indicate each agreement cost affected workers approximately 2.5 percent of annual salary. Stock bonuses and ratings of job satisfaction were also negatively affected.
    Keywords: ,
    JEL: J42 K21 J30 L41
    Date: 2021–10–15
  15. By: Baumann, Florian; Friehe, Tim; Wenzel, Tobias
    Abstract: This paper shows that the provision of consumer rights can decrease welfare when some consumers remain ignorant of these rights. We find that consumers uninformed about a mandated warranty demand excessively safe products in some circumstances. In other circumstances, uninformed consumers buy the efficient product variety like informed consumers but the former cross-subsidize the latter via firms' pricing. With respect to the salient policy option of improving information about consumer rights, we find that increasing the share of informed consumers may actually raise the risk of inefficiency.
    Keywords: consumer policy,imperfect information,efficiency,product safety,distribution
    JEL: D18 K12 K13
    Date: 2021
  16. By: Esra Ozdil Gumus (Boğaziçi University, Turkey)
    Abstract: In 2011, 11 May, Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence was signed in Istanbul and Turkey was the first country to sign the Convention which entered into force in 2014, August, by the initiatives of ruling government of Justice and Development Party. The Convention, which is the first binding document on violence against women and domestic violence in the international arena, redefines certain concepts such as woman, domestic violence, violence against woman and gender. This redefinition brought about certain legal amendments and the most prominent one was the No 6284 Law on Protection of Family and Prevention of Violence Against Women. While many feminist NGOs and groups, by drawing attention to the historical and traditional context of the violence, construe the convention as a step towards support and remedial the women’s rights, and supported the Convention, for some conservative groups the Convention became the potent symbol attacks to family institution through the intervening years. Hence, during the writing process of this article, on March 22, 2021, Turkish Republic declared unilateral cancellation by a presidential decree. Yet still, the debates go on. This paper intends to analyze the arguments of conservative groups on the Convention.
    Keywords: Conservatism, feminism, family, the Istanbul Convention
    Date: 2021–06
  17. By: Chanchal Pramanik
    Abstract: The paper focuses on the bribery network emphasizing harassment bribery. A bribery network ends with the police officer whose utility from the bribe is positive and the approving officer in the network. The persistent nature of corruption is due to colluding behavior of the bribery networks. The probability of detection of bribery incidents will help in improving controlling corruption in society. The asymmetric form of punishment and award equivalent to the amount of punishment to the network can enhance the probability of detection of harassment bribery $(p_{h})$ and thus increasing the probability of detection of overall bribery $(p_{h} \in p)$.
    Date: 2022–01
  18. By: Dan Anderberg (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Royal Holloway University of London); Helmut Rainer (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Fabian Siuda (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: Recent contributions using police recorded calls-for-service and/or crime data to estimate impacts of COVID-19 lockdowns on the incidence of domestic violence (DV) have reported relatively modest effects. This may re?ect a low reporting-propensity, exacerbated by the lockdown measures. Combining ?ve years of daily Google Trends data for a set of DV-related search terms with daily data on DV crimes recorded by the London Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), we propose a method for generating a search-based DV-index, exploiting that both sets of data re?ect the same inter-temporal variation in the (unobserved) DV incidence. Estimating the same model for the impact of lockdown on police-reported DV crimes and our search-based DV-index, we ?nd a similar timing, but a substantially larger impact on the latter.
    Date: 2020–09–02

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