nep-law New Economics Papers
on Law and Economics
Issue of 2023‒09‒11
four papers chosen by
Yves Oytana, Université de Franche-Comté

  1. Interlocking Directorates in Europe: An Enforcement Gap? By Florence Thepot
  2. Estimating the Impact of the Age of Criminal Majority: Decomposing Multiple Treatments in a Regression Discontinuity Framework By Michael G. Mueller-Smith; Benjamin Pyle; Caroline Walker
  3. Quantifying Retrospective Human Responsibility in Intelligent Systems By Nir Douer; Joachim Meyer
  4. Product Liability: Detecting Potential Risks in New Products By Andrea Castellano; Gustavo Ferro; Maximiliano Miranda Zanetti

  1. By: Florence Thepot (DRES - Droit, religion, entreprise et société - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - L'europe en mutation : histoire, droit, économie et identités culturelles - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This chapter highlights the potential anti-competitive risks raised by interlocking directorates between competitors (companies having common board members). Although in the US, Section 8 of the Clayton Act specifically prohibits interlocks among competitors, there is no such prohibition in Europe. The main claim of this chapter is that there may be an enforcement gap around anti-competitive effects of interlocking directorates in Europe. A review of relevant provisions shows that interlocking directorates are likely to fall short of EU competition law. In addition, national corporate laws, as well as tools of corporate governance may be of limited use to remedy competitive concerns. This chapter concludes with a discussion of research avenues that would inform suggestions for reforms.
    Keywords: Interlocking directorates, corporate law, corporate governance, competition
    Date: 2023–05
  2. By: Michael G. Mueller-Smith; Benjamin Pyle; Caroline Walker
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of adult prosecution on recidivism and employment trajectories for adolescent, first-time felony defendants. We use extensive linked Criminal Justice Admin- istrative Record System and socio-economic data from Wayne County, Michigan (Detroit). Using the discrete age of majority rule and a regression discontinuity design, we find that adult prosecution reduces future criminal charges over 5 years by 0.48 felony cases (↓ 20%) while also worsening labor market outcomes: 0.76 fewer employers (↓ 19%) and $674 fewer earnings (↓ 21%) per year. We develop a novel econometric framework that combines standard regression discontinuity methods with predictive machine learning models to identify mechanism-specific treatment effects that underpin the overall impact of adult prosecution. We leverage these estimates to consider four policy counterfactuals: (1) raising the age of majority, (2) increasing adult dismissals to match the juvenile disposition rates, (3) eliminating adult incarceration, and (4) expanding juvenile record sealing opportunities to teenage adult defendants. All four scenarios generate positive returns for government budgets. When accounting for impacts to defendants as well as victim costs borne by society stemming from increases in recidivism, we find positive social returns for juvenile record sealing expansions and dismissing marginal adult charges; raising the age of majority breaks even. Eliminating prison for first-time adult felony defendants, however, increases net social costs. Policymakers may still find this attractive if they are willing to value beneficiaries (taxpayers and defendants) slightly higher (124%) than potential victims.
    JEL: C36 C45 J24 K14 K42
    Date: 2023–08
  3. By: Nir Douer; Joachim Meyer
    Abstract: Intelligent systems have become a major part of our lives. Human responsibility for outcomes becomes unclear in the interaction with these systems, as parts of information acquisition, decision-making, and action implementation may be carried out jointly by humans and systems. Determining human causal responsibility with intelligent systems is particularly important in events that end with adverse outcomes. We developed three measures of retrospective human causal responsibility when using intelligent systems. The first measure concerns repetitive human interactions with a system. Using information theory, it quantifies the average human's unique contribution to the outcomes of past events. The second and third measures concern human causal responsibility in a single past interaction with an intelligent system. They quantify, respectively, the unique human contribution in forming the information used for decision-making and the reasonability of the actions that the human carried out. The results show that human retrospective responsibility depends on the combined effects of system design and its reliability, the human's role and authority, and probabilistic factors related to the system and the environment. The new responsibility measures can serve to investigate and analyze past events involving intelligent systems. They may aid the judgment of human responsibility and ethical and legal discussions, providing a novel quantitative perspective.
    Date: 2023–08
  4. By: Andrea Castellano; Gustavo Ferro; Maximiliano Miranda Zanetti
    Abstract: The central hypothesis of this article is that liability regulation can foster firms’ incentives to study the (potential) dangers of their products. We discuss alternative views and develop a formal model to analyze a firm´s incentive structure under the application of hindsight liability. We find a new role for liability regulation: to foster voluntary investment in research aimed at detecting potential risks in new products. The model allows us to analyze the firm´s investment decisions in research under different scenarios, each of which has varying expected costs. We offer some alternatives for institutional design seeking incentive compatibility with the aim proposed.
    Keywords: risk, regulation, product liability, incentives, asymmetric information
    JEL: K12 K22
    Date: 2023–08

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