nep-law New Economics Papers
on Law and Economics
Issue of 2022‒07‒25
eight papers chosen by
Eve-Angeline Lambert, Université de Lorraine

  1. Prosecutors, judges and sentencing disparities: Evidence from traffic offenses in France By Alessandro Melcarne; Benjamin Monnery; François-Charles Wolff
  3. Tactics of Elaborating Criminal Prosecution Versions By Nicoleta-Elena Heghes
  4. Covid-19 and changing crime trends in England and Wales By Tom Kirchmaier; Carmen Villa-Llera
  5. Racial Bias in Policing: Police Stop and Searches in England and Wales By Borooah, Vani
  6. Screening Adaptive Cartels By Juan Ortner; Sylvain Chassang; Kei Kawai; Jun Nakabayashi
  7. Will the Remote Work Revolution Undermine Progressive State Income Taxes? By Agrawal, David R.; Stark, Kirk J.
  8. Optimal Inspection under Moral Hazard and Limited Liability of Polluter By Takayoshi Shinkuma; Akira Hibiki; Eiji Sawada

  1. By: Alessandro Melcarne (EconomiX - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Benjamin Monnery (EconomiX - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); François-Charles Wolff (LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - Nantes Univ - IAE Nantes - Nantes Université - Institut d'Administration des Entreprises - Nantes - Nantes Université - pôle Sociétés - Nantes Univ - Nantes Université - IUML - FR 3473 Institut universitaire Mer et Littoral - UM - Le Mans Université - UA - Université d'Angers - UBS - Université de Bretagne Sud - IFREMER - Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Nantes Université - pôle Sciences et technologie - Nantes Univ - Nantes Université - Nantes Univ - ECN - Nantes Université - École Centrale de Nantes - Nantes Univ - Nantes Université)
    Abstract: While there is widespread evidence that sentences for similar cases tend to differ across courts, the production of sentencing disparities by prosecutors versus judges has received very limited attention to date. In this paper, we focus on this issue using traffic offenses data from neighboring courts in SouthEast France. First, we measure disparities for observably similar cases both at the extensive margin (type of sentences) and intensive margin (quantum) and find large differences in sentencing across courts. Second, we decompose those disparities between the influence of prosecutors through their procedural choices (simplified versus classical criminal procedures) and that of judges who always have the final word on sentences. While there is heterogeneity in the role of prosecutors between courts, we find that most sentencing disparities cannot be explained by the sole decisions of prosecutors.
    Keywords: courts,judicial disparities,sentencing,prosecutors,mediation analysis K14,K41,K42
    Date: 2022–06–08
  2. By: Mai, Nhat Chi
    Abstract: Consumer protection has gained attention of Vietnamese lawmakers since the early stage of the emergence of the market economy in the country. In spite of the large number of laws and regulations on consumer protection, the violations are still on the rise. This raises questions about the effectiveness of the legal framework to protect consumers in Vietnam. To answer these, the article will examine and analyze the content and structure of the legal framework of consumer protection, the law enforcement mechanism and related factors in the country. Thereby, the article will suggest some recommendations to improve of the legal system of consumer protection in the country.
    Date: 2021–02–28
  3. By: Nicoleta-Elena Heghes (Dimitrie Cantemir Christian University of Bucharest, Romania)
    Abstract: Criminal investigation planning is considered a fundamental tactic used in the discovery and investigation of crimes. This is the link between the purpose of the criminal investigation and the concrete activities carried out to carry it out. The planning of the criminal investigation is materialized by establishing the objectives pursued by the investigation, by the versions and issues to be clarified in the criminal case, as well as by the methods and means available in order to clarify the issues of the investigated criminal case. In most cases, the etiology of a criminal act is not obvious, hence the need to clarify in all aspects of its nature and the circumstances of the commission. In such a situation, in order to establish the truth, the need arises for the elaboration of versions based on the first clues and material evidence, as many as there are at a given time.
    Keywords: concrete data, criminal investigation, explanations prosecution, tactics, versions
    Date: 2022–03
  4. By: Tom Kirchmaier; Carmen Villa-Llera
    Abstract: We document changing crime trends in England and Wales in the context of the current global pandemic. During the first lockdown that span from mid-March to mid-May 2020 there was a decrease in all crime categories except Anti-social Behaviour and Drug Offences. Since lockdown was lifted most crime categories remain at lower levels, although there are important differences across the country that correlate with economic performance. Using publicly available data, we study the spatial and temporal differences in the uptake of furlough and unemployment support schemes and their correlation to crime rates. We find that those parts of the country with traditionally higher number of claimants have higher levels of crime in some categories, including in violent crimes (controlling for month, year, and area characteristics). Areas which experienced a higher loss in employment (change) now show higher anti-social behaviour rates, much higher than the national average. We identify areas most at risk, which had high claimant rates pre-pandemic and which suffered a high increase. In these areas acquisitive crimes have decreased at a much slower rate than elsewhere. We show that the large increase in claimants was more likely to take place in LSOAs with lower educational attainment on average. The high risk areas are characterised by higher Black and Asian population, a higher proportion of lone parents and worse health.
    Keywords: covid-19, crime, employment
    Date: 2020–12–17
  5. By: Borooah, Vani
    Abstract: This paper probes racial disparities in the police practice of stop and search in England and Wales. Specifically, it examines the hypothesis that “ethnic minorities” suffer two possible disadvantages vis-à-vis the ethnic majority of British Whites: (i) persons belonging to ethnic minorities, and in particular the non-white ethnic minorities, may be victims of racial bias by the police who, in selecting persons for stops, might disproportionately target non-white ethnic minorities; (ii) persons from ethnic minorities — and, again, in particular the non-white ethnic minorities — live disproportionately in Police Areas (hereafter, Areas) in which a large number of stops are conducted relative to the Area population. Consequently, the stop rate for ethnic minorities — defined as the number of stops per 1,000 of ethnic population — could be high because, relative to British Whites, persons from ethnic minorities live in Areas in which the overall stop rate — defined as the number of stops per 1,000 of the Area’s population — is high. The chapter proposes a methodology for distinguishing between the bias and location effects. The chapter also examines the pattern of arrests following stops and casts doubt on another hypothesis, namely, that persons from ethnic minorities are stopped more often than their White counterparts because they were more likely to offend.
    Keywords: Police, Stop and Search, Ethnic Minoriries, England and Wales
    JEL: K42
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Juan Ortner (Boston University); Sylvain Chassang (Princeton University); Kei Kawai (University of California, Berkeley); Jun Nakabayashi (Kindai University)
    Abstract: We propose an equilibrium theory of data-driven antitrust oversight in which regulators launch investigations on the basis of suspicious bidding patterns and cartels can adapt to the statistical screens used by regulators. We emphasize the use of asymptotically safe tests, i.e. tests that are passed with probability approaching one by competitive firms, regardless of the underlying economic environment. Our main result establishes that screening for collusion with safe tests is a robust improvement over laissez-faire. Safe tests do not create new collusive equilibria, and do not hurt competitive industries. In addition, safe tests can have strict bite, including unraveling all collusive equilibria in some settings. We provide evidence that cartel adaptation to regulatory oversight is a real concern.
    Keywords: collusion, auctions, bidding rings, cartels, procurement, antitrust
    JEL: D44 L40
    Date: 2022–06
  7. By: Agrawal, David R.; Stark, Kirk J.
    Abstract: The remote work revolution raises the possibility that a much larger segment of the population will be able to sever the geographic linkage between home and work. This new development implicates several foundational questions in the law and economics of U.S. fiscal federalism. What are the taxing rights of states as to nonresident remote workers employed by firms within the state? May a state impose income taxes on nonresident employees only to the extent they are physically working within the state? Does state taxing power extend to all income derived from in-state firms, including wages paid to those who never set foot in the state? How these legal questions are resolved has important implications for the future of state income taxes. Standard sourcing rules attribute wage income to the employee's physical location. In the presence of remote work, however, rigid ad-herence to this physical presence rule could intensify the progressivity-limiting dynamics of federalism by re-ducing the costs to households of exploiting labor income tax differentials across jurisdictions. In this article, we document the rise of remote work, the status of state-level income tax progressivity as well as its evolution over time, and the correlation between work from home trends and progressivity. We consider how alternative legal rules for the sourcing of income can affect telework-induced mobility, but conclude that, regardless of which sourcing regime prevails in coming legal battles, the rise of remote work is likely to limit redistribution via state income taxes. While some sourcing rules may better preserve progressivity in the short term than others, the more fundamental threat to progressive state tax regimes derives from remote work's long-term erosion of the benefits of urban spatial clustering. To the extent that the nation's productive cities lose their allure as centers of agglomeration and the wages of high-skilled workers in these cities fall, the ability of their host states to pursue redistributive tax policies will likely be constrained. Significantly, these deglomeration effects will arise regard-less of how state taxing rights are adapted for the remote work era, and therefore may carry with them implica-tions for income tax progressivity at the federal level as well.
    Keywords: income tax,remote work,sourcing rules,progressivity
    JEL: H2 H7 J6 K3 R5
    Date: 2022
  8. By: Takayoshi Shinkuma; Akira Hibiki; Eiji Sawada
    Abstract: We have considered an environmental pollution that seldom occurs but catastrophically destroys the environment once it occurs. While this kind of pollution might be avoided to some extent through precaution activity, the effort to prevent pollution could not be observed by the government without inspection. In addition, the polluter might not afford to compensate for the damage. The first best has not been achieved in the literature when moral hazard and limited liability are considered at the same time. By generalizing other policies including strict liability and negligence rule, we derive an optimal inspection policy under moral hazard and limited liability. The optimal policy is composed of advance payment and ex-post payment after inspection. In other words, we can consider the optimal policy as a deposit/refund system. The first best will always be achieved under the optimal policy as long as the liability covers the first-best effort if inspection cost is negligible. We also derive the second-best policy by taking account of inspection cost.
    Date: 2022–03

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