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Preview: Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization - current issue

The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization Current Issue

Published: Mon, 14 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2017 01:52:39 GMT


Campaign Contributions from Corporate Executives in Lieu of Political Action Committees


Limiting corporate participation in electoral politics is a central focus of campaign finance reform. In this spirit, individual candidates for office have prohibited corporate-linked political action committees (PACs) from contributing to their campaigns. On the surface, such no-PAC policies might seem like an effective way to keep corporate-linked monies out of electoral politics; however, they ignore the reality that corporate monies have a variety of ways to find their way into candidates’ campaign accounts. We leverage these candidate-specific refusals to accept PAC monies to uncover concomitant spikes in the pattern of corporate executives’ personal campaign contributions that are most pronounced for executives at firms with active PACs which contributed to the candidates in question. These results come from a newly constructed dataset that includes all CEO–firm–candidate contribution pairs for active S&P500 firms over an 18-year period and suggests that CEOs strategically act in lieu of their firms’ linked PACs. (JEL D72, L51)

Returns to Office in National and Local Politics: A Bootstrap Method and Evidence from Finland


We estimate the private returns to being elected to parliament or to a municipal council using a regression discontinuity (RD) design. We first present a bootstrap method for measuring the closeness of elections, which can be applied to any electoral system. We then apply the method to perform a RD estimation in Finland, where seats are assigned according to a proportional open-list system. Becoming a member of parliament increases annual earnings initially by about €20,000, and getting elected to a municipal council by about €1000. Subsequent earnings dynamics reveal that the returns to parliamentarians accrue mainly during the time in office, while the effect on later earnings is small. We also find a relatively weak individual incumbency advantage of 18 percentage points in parliamentary elections; the incumbency effect in municipal elections is negligible. (JEL D72, J45)

Transparency and Performance Evaluation in Sequential Agency


This study investigates the effects of transparency in a sequential moral hazard problem, where a leader and a follower consecutively take an action. The principal chooses whether the organization is transparent or opaque, by which we mean that the action of the leader is observable to the follower or not. Compared with the opaque organization, the transparent organization imposes an additional incentive constraint on the follower but may relax the incentive constraint on the leader. Informativeness of the signal crucially affects the optimal degree of transparency as well as the optimal incentive scheme. The transparent (respectively, opaque) organization tends to be preferred when the optimal incentive contract exhibits joint (respectively, relative) performance evaluation. (JEL D86, J41, D20)

Who (if Anyone) Should be Liable for Injuries from Generic Drugs?


Two recent Supreme Court decisions (PLIVA, Inc. v. Mensing (2011), and Mutual Pharmaceutical v. Bartlett (2013)), have essentially removed the threat of liability from generic drug manufacturers. In this paper, we consider four possible liability regimes in a simple model of drug market competition and safety research. Specifically, we compare a baseline regime of No Liability (NL) with the Everyone Liable (EL) regime (generics face the same liability as branded manufacturers), the No Liability for Generics (NLG) regime, resulting from PLIVA and Mutual (generics face no liability), and a novel Brand Fully Liable (BFL) regime (branded developer faces liability from injuries caused by a generic version of a drug it has developed). We find that the BFL regime typically provides the most efficient incentives to identify side effects and develop an efficient warning. However, the BFL regime can lead to overconsumption of the generic drug by patients who should not take the drug at all. For this reason, the EL regime may be preferable for a drug where the danger of side effects may outweigh the clinical value, as was alleged in Mutual Pharmaceutical v. Bartlett. We find that the NLG regime that resulted from the recent Supreme Court decisions is unlikely to be optimal, because it is dominated by BFL when the consumption decision is not important, and inferior to EL when it is very important. (JEL K13, Ill)

Efficient Material Breach of Contract


In an environment in which sellers can reduce the probability of defective delivery through cooperative investment, and in which enforcement of default remedies for breach of contract is imperfect, an optimal performance standard grants buyers the option to reject goods for some but not all defects, in other words, when the delivery is sufficiently defective and the seller is said to be in “material breach” of contract. This optimal performance standard implements efficient cooperative investment more often under a policy that, in addition, allows buyers to collect compensation for nondelivery of the good (upon rightful rejection) than a policy that limits buyers’ compensation to the recovery of the price. Although contracts with liquidated damages (i.e. a customized compensation function) can solve the investment problem as long as court enforcement is not too imperfect (in which case optimal liquidated damages are excessive and likely not enforced), the doctrine of material breach with an option to reject performs well as a default rule. (JEL D86, K12, K41)

Unrecognized States: A Theory of Self-Determination and Foreign Influence


Unrecognized states are characterized by stagnant or crumbling economies and political instability, often serve as havens for illicit trade, and challenge the territorial sovereignty of recognized states. Their persistence is both intellectually puzzling and normatively problematic, but unrecognized statehood can be a remarkably stable outcome, persisting for decades. Our dynamic four-player model reveals that unrecognized statehood emerges as an equilibrium outcome when a patron state is willing and able to persistently invest resources to sustain it. We assess options available to actors in the international community who seek to impose their preferred outcomes in these disputes and find that, although sanctions are the most frequently employed, they can often lead to renewed conflict instead of the intended resolution. (JEL F51, D74, C73)