nep-law New Economics Papers
on Law and Economics
Issue of 2024‒02‒26
eight papers chosen by
Yves Oytana, Université de Franche-Comté

  1. Murphy's Law or luck of the Irish? Disparate treatment of the Irish in 19th century courts By Bindler, Anna Louisa; Hjalmarsson, Randi; Machin, Stephen Jonathan; Rubio, Melissa
  2. The Impact of Comprehensive Student Support on Crime: Evidence from the Pathways to Education Program By Lavecchia, Adam M.; Oreopoulos, Philip; Spencer, Noah
  3. Patent Privateering By Adrien HERVOUET; Emmanuel LORENZON; Cesare RIGHI; Valerio STERZI
  4. Futures of the interpenetration of criminal and lawful economic activities in the European Union in 2035: Scenarios and policy implications By Attila Havas; Philipp Amann; Marci Letizi; Holger Nitsch; Umut Turksen
  5. The rise of private equity continuation funds By Kastiel, Kobi; Nili, Yaron
  6. OECD PMR Indicators on Professional Services: Top Performances or Outliers? By Claudio Ceccarelli; Antonio Cappiello
  7. Artificial intelligence, inattention and liability rules By Marie Obidzinski; Yves Oytana
  8. How to Use Data Science in Economics -- a Classroom Game Based on Cartel Detection By Hannes Wallimann; Silvio Sticher

  1. By: Bindler, Anna Louisa; Hjalmarsson, Randi; Machin, Stephen Jonathan; Rubio, Melissa
    Abstract: Using data on 100 years of 19th century criminal trials at London's Old Bailey, this paper offers clear evidence of disparate treatment of Irish-named defendants and victims by English juries. We measure surname Irishness and Englishness using place of birth in the 1881 census. Irish-named defendants are 11% less likely to plea, 3% more likely to be convicted by the jury, and 16% less likely to receive a jury recommendation for mercy. These disparities are: (i) largest for violent crimes and for defendants with more distinctive Irish surnames; (ii) robust to case characteristic controls and proxies for signals associated with Irish surnames (social class, Irish county of origin, criminality); (iii) particularly visible for Irish defendants in cases with English victims; and (iv) spill-over onto English-named defendants with Irish co-defendants. Disparate treatment is first visible in the 1830s, after which it grows, then persists through to the end of the century. In particular, the gap in jury conviction rates became larger during the twenty years after the Irish Potato Famine-induced migration to London. We do not find evidence, however, that the first bombing campaign of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (in 1867 and the 1880s) further exacerbated these disparities.
    Keywords: Irish; crime; criminal law; discrimination; economic history
    JEL: K42 K14 J15 N33 N93
    Date: 2023–03–31
  2. By: Lavecchia, Adam M. (McMaster University); Oreopoulos, Philip (University of Toronto); Spencer, Noah (University of Toronto)
    Abstract: This study finds substantial reductions to criminal activity from the introduction of a comprehensive high school support program for disadvantaged youth living in the largest public housing project in Toronto. The program, called Pathways to Education, bundles supports such as regular coaching, tutoring, group activities, free public transportation tickets and bursaries for postsecondary education. In this paper, we use a difference-in-differences approach that compares students living in public housing communities where the program was offered to those living in communities where the program was not offered over time. We find that eligibility for Pathways reduces the likelihood of being charged with a crime by 32 percent at its Regent Park location. This effect is driven by a reduction in charges for breaking and entering, theft, mischief, other traffic offenses and Youth Criminal Justice Act offenses.
    Keywords: youth programs, education and crime, at-risk youth
    JEL: I24 I26 I28 L31
    Date: 2024–01
  3. By: Adrien HERVOUET; Emmanuel LORENZON; Cesare RIGHI; Valerio STERZI
    Abstract: We study operating companies’ delegation of patent enforcement to patent assertion entities, a practice called “patent privateering.” Using a privateer may allow an operating company to generate higher patent revenues, increase rivals’ costs with “stealth” attacks, and limit the legal responsibilities to bear litigation costs. Using data on European patent transfers and patent infringement litigation in five large European jurisdictions in 2010-2020, we show that patent privateering is more likely to occur for patents with relatively lower economic value, for standard essential patents, and when the target of patent assertion is a competitor of the operating company.
    Keywords: intellectual property; patent; patent privateering; patent litigation; patent assertion enentity; SEP
    JEL: K11 K41 O31 O34
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Attila Havas (Institute of Economics, HUN-REN Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, Center for Innovation Systems and Policy); Philipp Amann (Former Head of Strategy, European Cybercrime Centre, Europol); Marci Letizi (Global Consultant of the European Commission, Council of Europe, and United Nations); Holger Nitsch (CEPOLIS, Hochschule für den öffentlichen Dienst in Bayern); Umut Turksen (Coventry University)
    Abstract: Policy-makers – working on various domains, notably regulations, home affairs, security, science, technology, and innovation (STI) policies – need to pay close attention to possible new ways and methods for the interpenetration of criminal and lawful economic activities. This paper is aimed at assisting these policy-makers by presenting four possible futures (scenarios) on the interpenetration of criminal and lawful economic activities and considering their implications. These scenarios assume that the interpenetration of criminal and lawful economic activities – just as most other types of crime – cannot be fully eradicated. There are two competing groups of actors whose capacities, activities, and efficiency largely determine the possibilities for, and repercussions of, the interpenetration of criminal and lawful economic activities: criminal actors and law enforcement agencies (LEAs). The scenarios, therefore, are shaped by two main dimensions: i) whether LEAs are well-resourced, strong, and effective or not, and ii) whether large criminal organisations or small-scale ones are the dominant criminal actors. Hence, the four scenarios consider various types of ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors that influence actors to commit – or not – criminal economic activities; the main types of these activities; features of regulations; research, technological development, and innovation activities by the criminal actors vs LEAs; as well as the activities, capabilities, and resources of LEAs. By considering the nature of the criminal activities that aim at penetrating lawful economic activities, and the options to prevent, monitor, and fight these crimes, the report explores a range of policy implications, especially for STI policies and regulations. Further, it stresses the multi-level nature of policy-making in the EU, as well as the need for collaboration with the willing countries outside the EU. Criminal actors can penetrate lawful economic activities in the EU when commissioned by hostile (‘rogue’) states that aim to weaken and/or undermine the EU and its Member States as part of their geopolitical power games.
    Keywords: Keywords: Criminal economic activities; Fighting crime; Preventing crime; Information and communication technologies; Social science research; Regulation; Prospective analyses; Scenarios
    JEL: K42 M48 O17 O38 O39
    Date: 2023–12
  5. By: Kastiel, Kobi; Nili, Yaron
    Abstract: This Article provides the first comprehensive examination of an emerging practice within the private equity sector-continuation funds. Continuation funds break from the traditional private equity model by allowing sponsors to hold on to assets beyond the typical fund term and, instead of selling the assets to third parties, sell them to their own newly established fund. Lauded by the private equity industry as providing "optionality" to investors, by allowing them to cash out or roll over, continuation funds have grown to represent a major segment of investment activity in the United States. Despite their surging popularity among private equity sponsors, they are subject to investor resistance, and, puzzlingly, most existing investors in the original funds decline the option to roll over their stakes into a continuation fund, even though it is run by the same private equity firm with which they have cultivated relationships for years. This Article addresses this puzzle and makes three contributions to the literature. First, we highlight the labyrinth of concerns that cast a shadow on the growing prevalence of continuation funds. Specifically, we show that private equity managers have strong incentives to establish continuation funds and explore the web of conflicts of interest between sponsors and investors and among investors themselves. Second, employing in-depth interviews with market participants from both sides of the aisle- -investors and sponsors--we examine the practical dynamics of continuation funds, exploring the cautionary tale they present to the conventional deference of law and economic theory to private contracting among sophisticated parties. Third, we present two alternative viewpoints regarding continuation funds: the market outcome view and the market failure view, and against this backdrop, we offer several policy recommendations that are particularly timely in light of the SEC's recently adopted rules addressing the issue.
    Keywords: Private Equity, Continuation Funds, Corporate Governance, Corporate Law, Securities Law, Reputation, Related Party Transactions, SEC
    JEL: K12 K22
    Date: 2024
  6. By: Claudio Ceccarelli (ISTAT, Italy); Antonio Cappiello (Consiglio Nazionale del Notariato)
    Abstract: The article passes in review the PMR indicators on notary regulation underscoring that the inhomogeneity of the cluster produces a large gap between minimum and maximum values. If we only consider “civil law notaries”, we can obtain more genuine picture of the reality. Since notaries exercise public functions within the administration of the justice (public good), they need a high level of regulation which is indeed empirically observed in the more homogeneous adjusted distribution (considering only notaries with comparable functions). In the case of notaries, in order to overcome market failure, higher regulation would be needed to ensure higher protection for the average consumer. The analysis of the legislative framework of Sweden, USA, Costa Rica and Israel clearly shows the inconsistency of the PMR notarial cluster (Sweden, USA and Israel adopt “notaries public”) as well incompatibilities with the OECD definitions of the notarial profession (because of the precondition of a lawyer’s licence in Israel and Costa Rica). Once sharpened the frontiers of the sample, excluding units belonging to a different distribution, notaries (intended as civil law notaries), presents homogenous higher distribution of the PMR “regulatory score”. The inverse relation between regulation (PMR) and “cost” and the positive correlation between PMR score and quality (Cappiello 2022) in conjunction with the EXCAS study on the better performances of the civil law notaries countries compared to countries using different systems (World Bank indicators of the property transfers of the civil law notaries, are used to make a comparison among countries), it seems to confirm the paternalistic need of the adoption of a civil law notary system. The analysis of the homogenous cluster of civil law notaries completely reverses the benchmark thresholds of the OECD PMR indexes. Contrary to the OECD PMR general vision that “less regulated is better”, the top five PMR average score (countries with lowest notarial regulation) is in fact associated with high average costs, while the highest five PMR average score (countries with highest notarial regulation) is associated with low average costs for the consumer. Therefore, if a country presents a notarial PMR value above the OECD AVG (a level of notarial regulation above the OECD average), it would be empirically considered an advantage (because it produces lower cost, efficiency and higher quality) rather than a signal for deregulation as actually proposed by OECD (see Tab 3).
    Keywords: professional services, competition, OECD PMR indicators, notaries, law & economics, common law, civil law
    JEL: K15 K21 K25 L4 L41 L43 L8 L84 L85 L86
    Date: 2024–01
  7. By: Marie Obidzinski (Université Paris Panthéon Assas, CRED UR 7321, 75005 Paris, France); Yves Oytana (CRESE UR3190, Univ. Bourgogne Franche-Comté, F-25000 Besançon, France)
    Abstract: We characterize the socially optimal liability sharing rule in a situation where a manufacturer develops an artificial intelligence (AI) system that is then used by a human operator (or user). First, the manufacturer invests to increase the autonomy of the AI (i.e., the set of situations that the AI can handle without human intervention) and sets a selling price. The user then decides whether or not to buy the AI. Since the autonomy of the AI remains limited, the human operator must sometimes intervene even when the AI is in use. Our main assumption is that users are subject to behavioral inattention. Behavioral inattention reduces the effectiveness of user intervention and increases the expected harm. Only some users are aware of their own attentional limits. Under the assumption that AI outperforms users, we show that policymakers may face a trade-off when choosing how to allocate liability between the manufacturer and the user. Indeed, the manufacturer may underinvest in the autonomy of the AI. If this is the case, the policymaker can incentivize the latter to invest more by increasing his share of liability. On the other hand, increasing the liability of the manufacturer may come at the cost of slowing down the diffusion of AI technology.
    Keywords: liability rules, artificial intelligence, inattention
    JEL: K4
    Date: 2024–02
  8. By: Hannes Wallimann; Silvio Sticher
    Abstract: We present a classroom game that integrates economics and data-science competencies. In the first two parts of the game, participants assume the roles of firms in a procurement market, where they must either adopt competitive behaviors or have the option to engage in collusion. Success in these parts hinges on their comprehension of market dynamics. In the third part of the game, participants transition to the role of competition-authority members. Drawing from recent literature on machine-learning-based cartel detection, they analyze the bids for patterns indicative of collusive (cartel) behavior. In this part of the game, success depends on data-science skills. We offer a detailed discussion on implementing the game, emphasizing considerations for accommodating diverging levels of preexisting knowledge in data science.
    Date: 2024–01

This nep-law issue is ©2024 by Yves Oytana. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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