nep-law New Economics Papers
on Law and Economics
Issue of 2023‒10‒23
six papers chosen by
Yves Oytana, Université de Franche-Comté

  1. The economic basis of liability in criminal law enforcement: liability based on the damage caused Vs. liability based on the proceeds of the offense By Kalyagin Gregory; Gorbuntsova Alena
  2. Crime Prevention Effects of Data Retention Policies By Wolfgang Maennig; Stefan Wilhelm
  3. The Legal Design of Domestic MLA procedures in Southeast Europe: A Comparative Analysis of Serbia, North Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina By Tomic, Slobodan; David-Barrett, Elizabeth
  4. Seemingly irrelevant information? The impact of legal team size on third party perceptions By Gilles Grolleau; Murat Mungan; Naoufel Mzoughi
  5. Platform Competition and Information Sharing By Georgios Petropoulos; Bertin Martens; Geoffrey Parker; Marshall Van Alstyne
  6. Effects of Occupational License Access on Undocumented Immigrants: Evidence from the California Reform By Bobby W. Chung

  1. By: Kalyagin Gregory (Department of Economics, Lomonosov Moscow State University); Gorbuntsova Alena (New Economic School)
    Abstract: This work, using computer simulation methods, answers the following question: which is more effective, from the point of view of public welfare, linking the severity of punishment for a crime to the public damage from it, or to the income that the criminal received? The answer, in the end, turns out to be twofold: on the one hand, linking the severity of punishment to the criminal's income from the offense contributes to the maximum deterrence of crimes; on the other hand, public welfare reaches its maximum value when the severity of punishment is tied to public damage from the crime and not to the income that the criminal receives from him.
    Keywords: severity of punishment, damage from an offense, proceeds of crime, deterrence
    JEL: K14 K42
    Date: 2023–06
  2. By: Wolfgang Maennig (Chair for Economic Policy, University of Hamburg); Stefan Wilhelm (Chair for Economic Policy, University of Hamburg)
    Abstract: Adding to the extensive political and legal debates on data retention, this is the first study to analyse the impacts of data retention on crime prevention in Europe. Using an estimator that captures dynamic effects and is robust to heterogeneous treatment effects, we find a significant negative effect on aggregate crime rates. However, our findings indicate that a minimum of one year is required following the implementation of the obligations for a decline in crime rates to occur, indicating a gradual adjustment in delinquent behaviour. Moreover, distinct effects occur not only after the introduction of data retention laws but also when these laws are cancelled. In addition, we present evidence that the effects on aggregate crime rates are likely to be driven by changes in property crime rates and fraud, while violent crime rates remain unaffected.
    Date: 2023–10–09
  3. By: Tomic, Slobodan; David-Barrett, Elizabeth
    Abstract: The chapter explores the domestic legal design of Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) procedures, analysing individual forms of MLA such as extradition of suspects or convicts, takeover or surrender of prosecution, and execution of foreign judgments. The analysis compares legislation from three countries in Southeast Europe: Serbia, North Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It examines whether two key components of legal design, namely (i) the discretion granted to institutions within the criminal justice system and political establishment and (ii) the presence of checks and balances systems within MLA procedures, have a positive or negative impact on MLA policy in practice. The analysis reveals that, although the three countries share many similarities in their legal arrangements pertaining to MLA procedures, there are some variations in specific forms of MLA, in terms of the discretion granted to domestic actors and the presence of checks and balances within the procedure. The findings show that significant discretion given to specific actors within the MLA policy can pave the way for harmful practices such as arbitrariness, uneven application of the law, and potential political abuse. The study also highlights the value of incorporating built-in checks and balances within the MLA procedure to ensure accountability and mutual control mechanisms, confirming that, where such mechanisms are not present, appropriate accountability and control safeguards are missing, enabling potential abuse of power or neglect in handling the MLA procedure. At the same time, it emerges that these checks and balances, whether they include internal review mechanisms, joint decision-making models, and/or approval powers ('de facto vetoing'), should not be excessive or burdensome to avoid obstructing the MLA processes.
    Date: 2023–09–21
  4. By: Gilles Grolleau (ESSCA Research Lab - ESSCA - Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Commerciales d'Angers); Murat Mungan (George Mason University [Fairfax]); Naoufel Mzoughi (ECODEVELOPPEMENT - Unité de recherche d'Écodéveloppement - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: People often appear to use irrelevant information in forming judgments about others. Using survey experiments, we show that seemingly irrelevant facts may actually be informative of actors' choices, which third parties can use to update their beliefs. Specifically, we show that subjects' perceived severity and recommended punishment for offenses are significantly increasing in the number of lawyers representing defendants. However, once subjects are informed that the defendant was randomly assigned a specific number of lawyers, the significant relationship between the perceived seriousness of the offense and the number of lawyers largely vanishes. Thus, third parties in our benchmark analysis may be using the defendant's legal team size as a proxy to update their beliefs regarding the nature of the offense committed, as opposed to being affected by irrelevant factors in forming judgments. This is because randomization makes it impossible for third parties to draw inferences regarding the nature of the offense committed by the defendant based on the number of lawyers. However, for some offenses, we find that increasing the number of lawyers raises third parties' recommended sanctions even when the number of lawyers is randomly determined, which is consistent with a psychological phenomenon called 'luck envy'.
    Keywords: Lawyers, Third party perceptions, Moral judgment, Social intuitionism, Luck envy
    Date: 2022–09
  5. By: Georgios Petropoulos; Bertin Martens; Geoffrey Parker; Marshall Van Alstyne
    Abstract: Digital platforms, empowered by artificial intelligence algorithms, facilitate efficient interactions between consumers and merchants that allow the collection of profiling information which drives innovation and welfare. Private incentives, however, lead to information asymmetries resulting in market failures. This paper develops a product differentiation model of competition between two platforms to study private and social incentives to share information. Sharing information can be welfare-enhancing because it solves the data bottleneck market failure. Our findings imply that there is scope for the introduction of a mandatory information sharing mechanism from big tech to their competitors that help the latter to improve their network value proposition and become more competitive in the market. The price of information in this sharing mechanism matters. We show that price regulation over information sharing like the one applied in the EU jurisdiction increases the incentives of big platforms to collect and analyze more data. It has ambiguous effects on their competitors that depend on the exact relationship between information and network value.
    Keywords: information sharing, digital platforms, data bottleneck, data portability
    JEL: D47 D82 K21 L21 L22 L40 L41 L43 L51 L86
    Date: 2023
  6. By: Bobby W. Chung (University of South Florida)
    Abstract: In 2014, California lifted legal work status requirement for dozens of occupational licenses - a major obstacle for undocumented immigrants in the US to access professional jobs. This paper assesses its effects on the employment outcome of undocumented immigrants in California. Analysing likely undocumented immigrants in the American Community Survey, I find that the law increased their employment, particularly in lower-skill or blue-collar licensed occupations, and older or Hispanic workers. I also find the law did not crowd out documented or domestic workers.
    Keywords: Occupational licensing, Undocumented immigrants, Employment
    JEL: J15 J44 K37
    Date: 2023–10

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