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Economic Category: Law and Economics

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Law and Economics - Article

1. Advertising Bans in the United States

Freedom of expression has always ranked high on the American scale of values and fundamental rights. This essay addressed regulation of "commercial speech," which is defined as speech or messages that propose a commercial transaction. [Details...]

2. Airline Deregulation

This encyclopedia entry explains how the United States Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 was a dramatic event in the history of economic policy. It was the first thorough dismantling of a comprehensive system of government control since the Supreme Court declared the National Recovery Act unconstitutional in 1935. [Details...]

3. Alcohol Prohibition

This article discusses the era of alcohol prohibition in the United States and the effects which were derived from it. [Details...]

4. Antitrust

This encyclopedia entry explains the history of antitrust laws and the effects of it. [Details...]

5. Bankruptcy Law in the United States

This article describes the chronology of bankruptcy law in the United States beginning with a description of its origins. [Details...]

6. Crime

The decision to commit a crime, like any other economic decision, can be analyzed as a choice among alternative combinations of costs and benefits. This article examines this concept and gives examples. [Details...]

7. Drug Lag

The modern history of drug regulation in the United States has been marked by the simultaneous pursuit of two goals: safety and efficacy. This article describes this insight and provides evidence of cases where costs incurred due to lawsuits proved to be too much. [Details...]

8. Economic Interests and the Adoption of the United States Constitution

This article examines how our Founding Fathers designed the Constitution, examining findings on the political and economic factors behind the provisions included in the Constitution and its ratification. The article discusses the views of Charles Beard and his critics and focuses on recent quantitative findings that explain the making of the Constitution. These findings suggest that personal interests of the Founding Fathers, as well as constituents' interests, played an important role in drafting the Constitution. They also suggest that economic and other interests played important roles at the ratifying conventions. [Details...]

9. Electric Utility Regulation

This is an encyclopedia article which describes the history of electricity regulation and how regulators have in some ways facilitated the growth of electricity markets. [Details...]

10. English Poor Laws

For nearly three centuries, the Poor Law constituted "a welfare state in miniature," relieving the elderly, widows, children, the sick, the disabled, and the unemployed and underemployed (Blaug 1964). This essay will outline the changing role played by the Poor Law, focusing on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. [Details...]

11. Fair Housing Laws

This article begins with fair housing's origins and operations and goes on to describe its impact and extension. [Details...]

12. From GATT to WTO: The Evolution of an Obscure Agency to One Perceived as Obstructing Democracy

In the 1940s, working with the British government, the United States developed two innovations to expand and govern trade among nations. These mechanisms were called the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the ITO (International Trade Organization). This articles explains those mechanisms as well as the evolution of the World Trade Organization (WTO). [Details...]

13. History of Food and Drug Regulation in the United States

Throughout history, governments have regulated food and drug products. In general, the focus of this regulation has been on ensuring the quality and safety of food and drugs. This article expands upon this to detail the history of this particular regulation. [Details...]

14. History of Property Taxes in the United States

The growth of the property tax in America was closely related to economic and political conditions on the frontier. This article describes how in pre-commercial agricultural areas the property tax was a feasible source of local government revenue and equal taxation of wealth was consistent with the prevailing equalitarian ideology. [Details...]

15. History of Workplace Safety in the United States, 1880-1970

This article explains the dangers of certain jobs such as mining, manufacturing, and railroad working to examine the history of workplace safety in the United States from 1880-1970. [Details...]

16. Hours of Work in U.S. History

This article presents estimates of the length of the historical workweek in the U.S., describes the history of the shorter-hours "movement," and examines the forces that drove the workweek's decline over time. [Details...]

17. Law and Economics

This article explores how the economic analysis of law deals with legal rules, whether made by legislatures or courts, from this second viewpoint- not as a way of handing out rewards and punishments to those who deserve them, but as a system of incentives intended to affect behavior. [Details...]

18. Liability

This article explains how, until recently, property and liability insurance was a small cost of doing business. But the substantial expansion in what legally consitutes liability over the past thirty years has greatly increased the cost of liability insurance for personal injuries. [Details...]

19. Minimum Wages

This article explains the history of the minimum wage laws and how minimum wage laws can set laws, but they cannot guarantee jobs. [Details...]

20. Occupational Licensing

Most Americans know that practicing medicine without a license is against the law. A careful analysis of licensing's effects across a broad range of occupations reveals some striking, and strikingly negative, similarities. [Details...]

21. Patents

A patent is the government grant of monopoly on an invention for a limited amount of time. This encyclopedia entry describes patents and the way the system works. [Details...]

22. Savings and Loan Industry (U.S.)

The savings and loan industry is the leading source of institutional finance for residential home mortgages in America. This article discusses the origins and the history thus far of this industry. [Details...]

23. Slavery in the United States

This article examines slavery in the United States by discussing the spread of slavery in the U.S., the insitutional framework, the legal status of slaves and blacks, the rights and responsibilities of slave masters, markets and prices, and profitibality, efficiency, and exploitation. [Details...]

24. Smoot-Hawley Tariff

The Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930 was the subject of enormous controversy at the time of its passage and remains one of the most notorious pieces of legislation in the history of the United States. This article explains why it caused controversy and is still referred to today. [Details...]

25. The Fordney-McCumber Tariff of 1922

This article begins with reference to the Emergency Tariff Act of 1921, then goes on to discusse the Fordney-McCumber Tariff. The article then compares Fordney-McCumber, Payne-Aldrich, and Underwood-Simmons, and discusses the Fordney-McCumber Tariff with respect to American agriculture and International retaliation. [Details...]

26. The National Recovery Administration

This article outlines the history of the National Recovery Administration, one of the most important and controversial agencies in Roosevelt's New Deal. It discusses the agency's "codes of fair competition" under which antitrust law exemptions could be granted in exchange for adoption of minimum wages, problems some industries encountered in their subsequent attempts to fix prices under the codes, and the macroeconomic effects of the program. [Details...]

27. The Works Progress Administration

This article begins with the Great Depression and the New Deal, discusses WPA projects and procedures and the distribution of WPA funds. [Details...]

28. Workers' Compensation

This article discusses the origins of worker's compensation and trends in worker's compensation over the past century. [Details...]

Law and Economics - Experiment Software

29. Principal/Agent Game

This program runs a set of "Principal/Agent" games. The first mover (employer) makes a contract offer, and the second movers (worker) chooses whether to accept the contract. A worker who accepts a contract then chooses an effort level, which is costly to the worker but which benefits the employer. The possible contracts include fixed wage payments, along with possible ex post bonuses, monitoring, penalties, and/or profit sharing. If the contract only specifies a required fixed wage and an optional bonus, then the Nash equilibrium for selfish preferences in a one-shot game is to offer the minimum possible effort, since the wage is paid irrespective of effort. Efforts may be higher with fixed matchings or if participants are concerned with fairness and reciprocity. A number of contract options based (based on penalties and rewards) are also available. The game highlights issues of contract incentives, reciprocity, and strategy. [Details...]

Law and Economics - Web Site

30. Enterprise Restructuring in the former Soviet Union

Citizens of the countries of the former Soviet Union (FSU) have recognized the potential benefits, observed in many different cultures and societies around the world, of private, market-driven enterprises. For more than half a century enterprises in the FSU have been subject to comprehensive state ownership and central planning. Prices and financing were typically of little concern to enterprise management, while workers did not have to worry about job security and received a wide range of social benefits through enterprises. While moving toward private, market-driven enterprises offers great promise for an improved standard of living for the average person, such a transition represents a fundamental social, psychological, and economic challenge. [Details...]

31. Unemployment in Eastern and Central Europe

Unemployment, once unknown and illegal in the formerly communist regimes in eastern and central Europe, has become a significant social and economic phenomenon. The rise in unemployment rates has been large but varied across countries. The transition from centrally planned economies to market-oriented economies has produced significant reductions in employment in the state sector as consumer-driven incentives begin to influence industrial structure. Reductions in employment in the state sector were partially offset by reductions in labor force particpation. Differences in the decline in labor force participation among countries led to significant differences in the relationship between unemployment growth and contraction in employment. However, the decline in labor force participation seems to be concentrated in the early stages of the transition, and in the future declining labor force participation is not likely to play as significant a role in dampening the growth of unemployment. [Details...]

Law and Economics - Online Book

32. Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

The Encyclopedia of Law and Economics is an ambitious reference work that attempts to survey the whole law and economics literature in nearly 5,000 pages. Most entries contain two elements: a review of the literature, written by an authority in the field, and a quasi complete bibliography (not just a selection). Economic analysis of law has expanded dramatically in recent years. In many branches, the literature is now at a 'mature' stage, where scholars agree on basic concepts, theories and even on policy recommendations. Yet, this scholarship does not reach many policymakers, lawyers or judges. Outside the USA, it even does not seem to reach law professors. This is not so much due to the fact that policymakers, judges or law professors are not interested in the economic consequences of legal rules, but rather to the fact that the literature is too unaccessible. There is a clear need for reference works that give a reliable overview of the literature in a way that is understandable also for non-specialists. This is the primary purpose of the Encyclopedia of Law and Economics. [Details...]

Law and Economics - Non-computerized experiment

33. An Experiment on Externality Rights

This experiment is simple and fun, but I have found it useful to make some Law and Economics points about externality rights and efficient specification of right, following Ronald Coase and Richard Posner. [Details...]

Law and Economics - Course lecture

34. Antitrust and Other Government Regualtion

Discussion on antitrust legislation and other government regulation. [Details...]

35. Governement's Economic Functions


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