nep-law New Economics Papers
on Law and Economics
Issue of 2024‒01‒15
nine papers chosen by
Yves Oytana, Université de Franche-Comté

  1. More than Joints: Multi-Substance Use, Choice Limitations, and Policy Implications By Michelle Sovinsky; Liana Jacobi; Alessandra Allocca; Tao Sun
  2. The Direct and Intergenerational Effects of Criminal History-Based Safety Net Bans in the U.S. By Michael G. Mueller-Smith; James M. Reeves; Kevin Schnepel; Caroline Walker
  3. Lawful Progress: Unveiling the Laws That Reshape Women’s Work Decisions By Anna Fruttero; Diego B. P. Gomes; Nishtha Sharma
  4. Data Protection in the Era of Algorithmic Pricing: A Comparative Analysis of the USA, EU, and China By Cui, Hao
  5. Does Wealth Inhibit Criminal Behavior? Evidence from Swedish Lottery Winners and Their Children By David Cesarini; Erik Lindqvist; Robert Östling; Christofer Schroeder
  6. From legislation to implementation: building a new industrial policy in the United States By Artecona, Raquel; Velloso, Helvia; Vo, Hoa
  7. Accessing the Safety Net: How Medicaid Affects Health and Recidivism By Analisa Packham; David Slusky
  8. Deciphering Algorithmic Collusion: Insights from Bandit Algorithms and Implications for Antitrust Enforcement By Frédéric Marty; Thierry Warin
  9. Occupational Hazard? An Analysis of Birth Outcomes among Physician Mothers By Jena, Anupam B.; Slusky, David; Springer, Lilly

  1. By: Michelle Sovinsky (University of Mannheim); Liana Jacobi (University of Melbourne); Alessandra Allocca (LMU Munich); Tao Sun (University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: As illicit substances move into the legal product space, substitution patterns with legal products become more salient. In particular, marijuana legalization may have implications for the use of other legal “sin” goods. We estimate a structural model of multi-product use of illegal and legal substances considering joint use, limited access to illicit products, and persistence in use. We focus on a young person’s choice to consume marijuana, alcohol or cigarettes (and possible combinations), and we find that sin goods are complements. Furthermore, our findings emphasize the necessity of accounting for joint consumption and access to obtain correct price sensitivity estimates. Post-legalization, youth marijuana use would increase from 25% to 37%. However, counterfactual results show that a combination of (reasonable) tax increases on all goods along with enforcement against illegal use can potentially revert use to pre-legalization levels. The earlier the tax increases are implemented the more effective they are at curbing future use. Our results inform the policy debate regarding the impact of marijuana legalization on the long-term use of sin goods.
    Keywords: complementarity, marijuana legalization, limited choice sets, data restrictions, discrete choice models; marijuana legalization; limited choice sets; data restrictions; discrete choice models;
    JEL: C11 D12 L15 K42 L66 C35
    Date: 2023–12–19
  2. By: Michael G. Mueller-Smith; James M. Reeves; Kevin Schnepel; Caroline Walker
    Abstract: We study the lifetime banning, as introduced by United States Public Law 104-193, of individuals convicted of felony drug offenses after August 22, 1996 from ever receiving future SNAP benefits. Using a regression discontinuity design that leverages CJARS criminal history records with federal administrative and survey data, we estimate the causal impact of safety net assistance bans, finding significant reductions in SNAP benefit take-up, which creates unintentional spillovers to spouses and children and persist long after ban revocations occurred. While we observe limited changes to other adult outcomes, children's cognitive and educational outcomes worsen, especially those impacted at young ages.
    JEL: H53 I38 K42
    Date: 2023–12
  3. By: Anna Fruttero; Diego B. P. Gomes; Nishtha Sharma
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of women’s legal rights on labor force participation decisions made by women and men through a granular analysis of 35 gendered laws. Building on previous literature, it departs from the analysis using aggregate indices due to concerns about (i) the usability of an index for policymaking purposes, (ii) the economic interpretation of an index’s average marginal effects, (iii) and the implicit assumption of homogeneous effects underlying regressions with an index. The findings identify nine key laws that can foster female labor force participation. Notably, laws related to household dynamics and women’s agency within the family, such as divorce and property rights laws, and laws regarding the ability of women to travel outside the home, are especially important in influencing their decision to work. The paper also shows that improving women’s legal rights does not improve their labor force participation through a substitution effect as it has no systematic negative effect on men’s labor force participation.
    Keywords: Gender gaps; Gendered laws; Legal barriers; Labor force participation
    Date: 2023–12–08
  4. By: Cui, Hao
    Abstract: In the era of algorithmic pricing, there is increasing recognition of the importance of data security. Various countries have begun to establish their own data protection regimes. The most widely discussed are the radically different regimes in the EU and the US, while China has taken a unique direction in data protection development after absorbing the experiences of both Europe and the US and combining them with its own political characteristics. This paper explores the relationship between algorithmic pricing and data protection, and argues for the development of a data protection regime to address data security challenges in the era of algorithmic pricing. Through comparative legal research, this paper compares the data protection legal regimes of the European Union, the United States and China from three perspectives: legal principles, international impact and case applications. Through comparative analyses, this paper concludes that a comprehensive data protection regime is more effective than data regulations scattered in various documents. By studying the comparative analysis of three countries, especially the international impact of the EU data protection regime, this paper concludes that a global data protection standard can be recognised and summarised. Such a standard should have four basic elements: 1) the comprehensive empowerment of data subjects, 2) effective and independent intervention by supervisory authorities, 3) a strict ex ante preventive review mechanism, and 4) a satisfactory ex-post relief system. This paper suggests that each country’s data protection system can be designed with reference to this standard and in the light of the specific conditions of the country. In summary, the comparative analyses in this paper provide new perspectives for an in-depth understanding of the changes in data protection legal regimes in different countries in the era of algorithmic pricing. This will help promote more effective data protection laws and policymaking around the world.
    Date: 2023–08–31
  5. By: David Cesarini; Erik Lindqvist; Robert Östling; Christofer Schroeder
    Abstract: There is a well-established negative gradient between economic status and crime, but its underlying causal mechanisms are not well understood. We use data on four Swedish lotteries matched to data on criminal convictions to gauge the causal effect of financial windfalls on player’s own crime and their children’s delinquency. We estimate a positive but statistically insignificant effect of lottery wealth on players’ own conviction risk. Our estimates allow us to rule out effects one fifth as large as the cross-sectional gradient between income and crime. We also estimate a less precise null effect of parental lottery wealth on child delinquency.
    JEL: K0
    Date: 2023–12
  6. By: Artecona, Raquel; Velloso, Helvia; Vo, Hoa
    Abstract: This document examines the implementation strategies and execution challenges of three major pieces of legislation that were signed into law in the United States in late 2021 and in 2022. Together they provide more than US$ 2 trillion in authorized funding and incentives for up to ten years to rebuild the country’s infrastructure, accelerate the transition to a green economy, and strengthen the domestic semiconductor industry while promoting job growth, workforce development, and equity. The scale of these laws, given the level of funding required, their complexity, given the multiplicity of goals and the many participants involved, their accountability, and the risk of inequitable implementation, with some local governments and communities not fully positioned to take advantage of the laws’ incentives, present significant challenges to their implementation. An additional challenge lies in creating the institutionality required to ensure that the changes are long-term and not subject to the cyclicality of government changes. Although mostly directed to activities within the United States, the laws’ execution is expected to influence the policies of countries around the world, including in Latin America and the Caribbean. From a worldwide perspective, these laws may create opportunities but can also leave some smaller players behind.
    Date: 2023–12–21
  7. By: Analisa Packham; David Slusky
    Abstract: We estimate the causal impact of access to means-tested public health insurance coverage (Medicaid) on health outcomes and recidivism for those recently released from incarceration. To do so, we leverage a policy change in South Carolina that allowed simplified Medicaid re-enrollment for previously incarcerated eligible individuals. Using linked administrative data on criminal convictions and health insurance claims, we find that reducing barriers in access to Medicaid for vulnerable populations increases enrollment and utilization of health care services. However, we do not find that this improved health care insurance access reduces 1-year or 3-year recidivism, suggesting that effectiveness of such policies is context dependent.
    JEL: I18 I38 K42
    Date: 2023–12
  8. By: Frédéric Marty; Thierry Warin
    Abstract: This paper examines algorithmic collusion from legal and economic perspectives, highlighting the growing role of algorithms in digital markets and their potential for anti-competitive behavior. Using bandit algorithms as a model, traditionally applied in uncertain decision-making contexts, we illuminate the dynamics of implicit collusion without overt communication. Legally, the challenge is discerning and classifying these algorithmic signals, especially as unilateral communications. Economically, distinguishing between rational pricing and collusive patterns becomes intricate with algorithm-driven decisions. The paper emphasizes the imperative for competition authorities to identify unusual market behaviors, hinting at shifting the burden of proof to firms with algorithmic pricing. Balancing algorithmic transparency and collusion prevention is crucial. While regulations might address these concerns, they could hinder algorithmic development. As this form of collusion becomes central in antitrust, understanding through models like bandit algorithms is vital, since these last ones may converge faster towards an anticompetitive equilibrium. Cet article examine la collusion algorithmique du point de vue juridique et économique, mettant en évidence le rôle croissant des algorithmes dans les marchés numériques et leur potentiel comportement anticoncurrentiel. En utilisant les algorithmes de bandit comme modèle, traditionnellement appliqués dans des contextes de prise de décision incertaine, nous mettons en lumière la dynamique de la collusion implicite sans communication explicite. Sur le plan juridique, le défi réside dans le discernement et la classification de ces signaux algorithmiques, en particulier en tant que communications unilatérales. Sur le plan économique, la distinction entre une tarification rationnelle et des schémas collusifs devient complexe avec les décisions pilotées par des algorithmes. L'article met l'accent sur l'impératif pour les autorités de la concurrence d'identifier les comportements de marché inhabituels, laissant entendre un transfert du fardeau de la preuve aux entreprises pratiquant la tarification algorithmique. Équilibrer la transparence algorithmique et la prévention de la collusion est crucial. Bien que la réglementation puisse traiter ces préoccupations, elle pourrait entraver le développement des algorithmes. À mesure que cette forme de collusion devient centrale dans le domaine de la concurrence, la compréhension à travers des modèles tels que les algorithmes de bandit est essentielle, car ces derniers peuvent converger plus rapidement vers un équilibre anticoncurrentiel.
    Keywords: Algorithmic Collusion, Bandit Algorithms, Antitrust Enforcement, Unilateral Signals, Pricing Strategies, Collusion algorithmique, algorithmes de bandits, Application du droit de la concurrence, signaux unilatéraux, Stratégies de tarification
    JEL: L13 L41 K21
    Date: 2023–12–22
  9. By: Jena, Anupam B. (NBER); Slusky, David (University of Kansas); Springer, Lilly (University of Kansas)
    Abstract: Training to become a physician involves long work hours that can be physically demanding, particularly for surgeons. Are birth outcomes of physician mothers affected as a result? Using Texas birth data from 2007-2014, we compared birth outcomes between physicians and another highly educated group, lawyers, and between surgeons and non-surgeon physicians. Further, using a difference-in-differences framework, we examine whether the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education 2011 duty hour reform, which lowered trainee work hours, impacted the birth outcomes of babies born to physicians compared with lawyers. We find that physicians have lower birth weights and shorter pregnancies than lawyers with the results driven by physicians in surgical specialties. However, the duty hour reform appears to not have impacted birth outcomes. Thus, we find that physicians tend to have worse birth outcomes than lawyers and, in this case, the work reform did little to address the difference.
    Keywords: physicians, surgeons, birth outcomes, birthweight, pregnancy length, duty hour reform
    JEL: I12 J13 J44 K32
    Date: 2023–12

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