nep-law New Economics Papers
on Law and Economics
Issue of 2022‒11‒28
thirteen papers chosen by
Eve-Angeline Lambert, Université de Lorraine

  1. Twitter and Crime: The Effect of Social Movements on GenderBased Violence By Michele Battisti; Ilpo Kauppinen; Britta Rude
  2. Judicial Decision-Making. A Survey of the Experimental Evidence By Christoph Engel
  3. Urban Regeneration Projects and Crime: Evidence from Glasgow By Daniel Borbely; Gennaro Rossi
  4. A Nash equilibrium against gun control By Saccal, Alessandro
  5. Legal recognition of customary water tenure in Sub-Saharan Africa: unpacking the land-water nexus By Troell, J.; Keene, S.
  6. Efficient copyright filters for online hosting platforms By Alessandro De Chiara; Ester Manna; Antoni Rubí-Puig; Adrian Segura-Moreiras
  7. Death squad or quality improvement? The impact of introducing post-grant review on U.S. patent quality By Arianna Martinelli; Julia Mazzei
  8. Eye-Tracking as a Method for Legal Research By Christoph Engel; Rima-Maria Rahal
  9. Checks and Balances and Nation Building: The Spanish Constitutional Court and Catalonia By Agustin Casas; Federico Curci; Antoni-Italo De Moragas
  10. The Impact of Immigration on Workers’ Protection By Adam Levai; Riccardo Turati
  11. Regulating the Innovators: Approval Costs and Innovation in Medical Technologies By Rogers, Parker
  12. Population and Technological Growth: Evidence from Roe v. Wade By John T. H. Wong; Matthias Hei Man; Alex Li Cheuk Hung
  13. Teaching Norms: Direct Evidence of Parental Transmission By Thijs Brouwer; Fabio Galeotti; Marie Claire Villeval

  1. By: Michele Battisti; Ilpo Kauppinen; Britta Rude
    Abstract: This paper asks whether social movements taking place on Twitter affect genderbased violence (GBV). Using Twitter data and machine learning methods, we construct a novel data set on the prevalence of Twitter conversations about GBV. We then link this data to weekly crime reports at the federal state level from the United States. We exploit the high-frequency nature of our data and an event study design to establish a causal impact of Twitter social movements on GBV. Our results point out that Twitter tweets related to GBV lead to a decrease in reported crime rates. The evidence shows that perpetrators commit these crimes less due to increased social pressure and perceived social costs. The results indicate that social media could significantly decrease reported GBV and might facilitate the signaling of social norms.
    Keywords: Economics of gender, US, domestic abuse, public policy, criminal law, illegal behavior and the enforcement of law
    JEL: J12 J16 J78 K14 K42 O51
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Christoph Engel (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)
    Abstract: Judges are human beings. Is their behavior therefore subject to the same effects that psy-chology and behavioral economics have documented for convenience samples, like uni-versity students? Does that fact that they decide on behalf of third parties moderate their behavior? In which ways does the need matter to find a solution when the evidence is in-conclusive and contested? How do the multiple institutional safeguards resulting from procedural law, and the ways how the parties use it, affect judicial decision-making? Many of these questions have been put to the experimental test. The paper provides a systemat-ic overview of the rich evidence, points out gaps that still exist, and discusses methodo-logical challenges.
    Keywords: judicial decision-making, bias, heuristic, attitudinal model, ambiguity, parallel constraint satisfaction, public perception
    JEL: K10 K13 K14
    Date: 2022–08–24
  3. By: Daniel Borbely (Economics Group, School of Business, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK); Gennaro Rossi (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield, 9 Mappin Str, Sheffield S1 4DT, UK)
    Abstract: This study investigates the effects of urban regeneration on crime, leveraging recent large-scale regeneration projects – called Transformational Regeneration Areas (TRAs) – in Glasgow, Scotland. We employ a difference-in-differences approach that makes use of variation in both the timing of TRA implementation, and in proximity to these areas to measure exposure to urban regeneration projects. Our findings are consistent with changing neighbourhood composition and the elimination of physical spaces that harbour criminal activity driving local crime reductions. We find a large and significant reduction in crime within 400 metres of TRAs but this effect fades as we move further away. Simultaneously, we find no evidence of city-wide reductions in crime after urban regeneration.
    Keywords: Crime, Housing, Spatial Spillovers, Urban Regeneration
    JEL: I38 R20 K42
    Date: 2022–11
  4. By: Saccal, Alessandro
    Abstract: This work constructs a non-cooperative, static game of gun control between the citizen and a pacifistic society characterised by law enforcement imperfection, by which the retention of firearms and the certitude of punishment against all crimes emerges both as a strict Nash equilibrium, in pure strategies, and as a strict dominant strategy equilibrium. The reason is that ratified by the Second Amendment to the American Constitution, discerning the necessity of a militia to the individual and societal security of a free state, by which the right of the people to keep and bear arms cannot be infringed.
    Keywords: citizen; criminal; equilibrium; felon; game; guns; mass murderer; payoff; punishment; society; suicide.
    JEL: C72 D74 K14 K39 K42
    Date: 2022–10–31
  5. By: Troell, J.; Keene, S.
    Abstract: Despite the progress made in conceptualizing and advocating for secure community-based land and forest tenure rights, there is a critical lacuna in advocacy and policymaking processes pertaining to community-based freshwater tenure rights. Moreover, water tenure as a concept has only recently gained significant traction in global policy circles. This report analyzes national and international legal pathways for recognizing customary forms of community-based freshwater tenure rights held by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) in sub-Saharan Africa. It employs a methodological framework and builds on an analysis of community-based water tenure systems that was developed and applied by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) and the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) in the publication Whose Water? A Comparative Analysis of National Laws and Regulations Recognizing Indigenous Peoples’, Afro-Descendants’, and Local Communities’ Water Tenure. Based on the key findings of this analysis, in particular the frequent dependence of IPLCs’ legally recognized customary water tenure rights on their legally recognized land and/or forest rights, this report further analyzes national constitutions, national legislation governing water, land, forests, environmental protection and other related matters, international and national case law, and international and regional human rights laws, to explore how legal frameworks are recognizing and protecting customary water tenure rights across sub-Saharan Africa. The findings and recommendations provide a basis for analyzing the comparative effectiveness and potential drawbacks of these legal pathways for the recognition and protection of customary water tenure and ultimately for future work refining and improving legislation and assessing progress in its implementation and enforcement.
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development, Food Security and Poverty, International Development, Land Economics/Use
    Date: 2022–08–31
  6. By: Alessandro De Chiara (Universitat de Barcelona and BEAT); Ester Manna (Universitat de Barcelona and BEAT); Antoni Rubí-Puig (Universitat Pompeu Fabra); Adrian Segura-Moreiras (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
    Abstract: In this paper, we build a theoretical model in which an online hosting platform can develop a copyright filter to screen content that contributors wish to upload. The technology is imprecise, since non-infringing material may be incorrectly filtered out. Once the content is hosted on the platform, a right-holder may send a take-down notice if its own automated notice system, also imprecise, finds it to be copyright infringing. We investigate the efficient design of regulation and liability and we find that (i) the right-holder should be given incentives to evaluate fair use when submitting a notice and (ii) the current safe-harbor protection granted to platforms that promptly remove content following a take-down notice should be lifted. Such dual system would achieve efficient copyright enforcement without excluding fair-use material.
    Keywords: Copyright filters, liability rules, online hosting platforms, notice and take-down system.
    JEL: K2 L51
    Date: 2022
  7. By: Arianna Martinelli; Julia Mazzei
    Abstract: Increasing evidence indicates that a large share of granted patents are ''undeserved'' because they do not meet the criteria of novelty or non-obviousness. In recent decades, many jurisdictions introduced patent reforms to avoid weak patent applications and improve legal patent quality. In particular, the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), enacted into law in 2011, introduced the post-grant validity challenge at the United States Patents and Trademarks Office (USPTO). This procedure allows any third party to question granted patents, possibly leading to patent revocation or scope reduction. This paper aims to provide evidence of the impact of such policy change on the legal quality of the patent system. To identify the policy effect we exploit the fact that the same invention is patented in different legislation and that not all of them have post-grant review procedures. In particular, we compare the same patent filed at the USPTO and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO). In this setting, we apply standard Diff-in-Diff analysis to estimate the effect of the post-grant validity challenge on the patent scope. Our results indicate that the AIA reform contributed to a reduction of U.S. patent scope in the last decade, indeed increasing the legal quality of the patent system.
    Keywords: Patent opposition; patent quality; policy evaluation; patent scope.
    Date: 2022–11–16
  8. By: Christoph Engel (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn); Rima-Maria Rahal (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)
    Abstract: Legal research is a repeat offender – in the best sense of the term – when it comes to making use of empirical and experimental methods borrowed from other disciplines. We anticipate that the field’s response to developments in eye-tracking research will be no different. Our aim is to aid legal researchers in the uptake of eye-tracking as a method to address questions related to cognitive processes involved in matters of law abidance, legal intervention, and the generation of new legal rules. We discuss methodological challenges of empiri-cally studying thinking and reasoning as the mechanisms underlying behavior, and introduce eye-tracking as our method of choice for obtaining high-resolution traces of visual attention. We delineate advantages and challenges of this methodological approach, and outline which concepts legal researchers can hope to measure with a toy example. We conclude by outlining some of the various research avenues in legal research for which we predict a benefit from adopting eye-tracking to their methodological toolbox.
    Keywords: methods, eye-tracking, cognition, process tracing
    Date: 2022–11–02
  9. By: Agustin Casas (CUNEF Universidad/INARBE); Federico Curci (CUNEF Universidad); Antoni-Italo De Moragas (CUNEF Universidad)
    Abstract: We examine whether judicial review can affect political attitudes by studying how the ruling of the Spanish Constitutional Court on the Catalan Constitution affected Catalan support for secession, which doubled in the 2010-2012 period. Our identification strategy relies on the fact that the ruling occurred amid a public opinion survey. We find that the ruling led to a 20% increase in support for Catalan independence from Spain in 2010. The ruling exacerbated the preferences for decentralization (up to secession) and ignited a backlash against institutions (courts, democracy, etc). Additionally, the polarization of political attitudes depended on (endogenous) identification: the ruling strengthened Catalan identity and increased political polarization in that dimension between people with and without Catalan heritage. Polarization around this issue came at the expense of depolarization in the economic dimension. All of these results are consistent with the predictions of identity politics theories
    Keywords: Identity Politics, Political Polarization, Checks and Balances, Judicial Review, Supreme Court, Nation Building.
    JEL: D02 O12 O17 K4
    Date: 2022–10
  10. By: Adam Levai; Riccardo Turati
    Abstract: Even though the existing literature investigating the labor market impact of immigration assumes, implicitly or explicitly, that the law or labor market regulation is exogenous to immigration (in terms of both size and composition), this is not necessarily the case. To examine this link, we build a novel workers’ protection measure based on 36 labor law variables over a sample of 70 developed and developing countries from 1970 to 2010. Exploiting a dynamic panel setting using both internal and external instruments, we establish a new result: immigration impacts workers’ protection in the direction of the origin country workers’ protection (composition channel), while we find a small negative or null effect for the immigrant population (size channel). The composition channel, or the law transfer effect, is particularly strong for two components of the workers’ protection measure: worker representation laws and employment forms laws. Our results are consistent with suggestive evidence on transmission of preferences from migrants to their offspring (vertical transmission), and from migrants to natives or local political parties (horizontal transmission). Finally, calculations based on the estimated coefficients suggest that immigration, on average, contributes to a reduction in workers’ protection, particularly in OECD high-income countries.
    Keywords: Migration; Transmission of Preferences; Labor Market Institutions; Workers’ Protection; Labor Regulation; Legal Transplants
    JEL: F22 J61 K31
    Date: 2022–11
  11. By: Rogers, Parker
    Abstract: How does FDA regulation affect innovation and market concentration? I examine this question by exploiting FDA deregulation events that affected certain medical device types but not others. I use text analysis to gather comprehensive data on medical device innovation, device safety, firm entry, prices, and regulatory changes. My analysis of these data yields three core results. First, these deregulation events significantly increase the quantity and quality of new technologies in affected medical device types relative to control groups. These increases are particularly strong among small and inexperienced firms. Second, these events increase firm entry and lower the prices of medical procedures that use affected medical device types. Third, the rates of serious injuries and deaths attributable to defective devices do not increase measurably after these events. Perhaps counterintuitively, deregulating certain device types lowers adverse event rates significantly, consistent with firms increasing their emphasis on product safety as deregulation exposes them to more litigation.
    Date: 2022–11–01
  12. By: John T. H. Wong; Matthias Hei Man; Alex Li Cheuk Hung
    Abstract: We exploit the heterogeneous impact of the Roe v. Wade ruling by the US Supreme Court, which ruled most abortion restrictions unconstitutional. Our identifying assumption is that states which had not liberalized their abortion laws prior to Roe would experience a negative birth shock of greater proportion than states which had undergone pre-Roe reforms. We estimate the difference-in-difference in births and use estimated births as an exogenous treatment variable to predict patents per capita. Our results show that one standard deviation increase in cohort starting population increases per capita patents by 0.24 standard deviation. These results suggest that at the margins, increasing fertility can increase patent production. Insofar as patent production is a sufficient proxy for technological growth, increasing births has a positive impact on technological growth. This paper and its results do not pertain to the issue of abortion itself.
    Date: 2022–11
  13. By: Thijs Brouwer (Department of economics, Tilburg University - Tilburg University [Netherlands]); Fabio Galeotti (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Marie Claire Villeval (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: We examine the educative role played by parents in social norm transmission. Using a field experiment, we study whether parents enforce and comply more with norms when their children are present compared to when they are not. We compare similar parents when or after they bring or pick up their children at school. We find that parents accompanying children, in contrast to parents alone, are more likely to punish norm violators and to provide help to strangers when there is no violation. They also tend to substitute more direct punishment with withholding help as a means of indirect punishment.
    Keywords: Field Experiment,Social Norms,Transmission,Parenting,Norm Enforcement.
    Date: 2022

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