Archive

Archive for the ‘Social Science Research Network’ Category

Corporate Speech and the First Amendment: History, Data, and Implications

May 16, 2015 Comments off

Corporate Speech and the First Amendment: History, Data, and Implications
Source: Social Science Research Network

This Article draws on empirical analysis, history, and economic theory to show that corporations have begun to displace individuals as direct beneficiaries of the First Amendment and to outline an argument that the shift reflects economically harmful rent seeking. The history of corporations, regulation of commercial speech, and First Amendment case law is retold, with an emphasis on the role of constitutional entrepreneur Justice Lewis Powell, who prompted the Supreme Court to invent corporate and commercial speech rights. The chronology shows that First Amendment doctrine long post-dated both pervasive regulation of commercial speech and the rise of the U.S. as the world’s leading economic power – a chronology with implications for originalists, and for policy. Supreme Court and Courts of Appeals decisions are analyzed to quantify the degree to which corporations have displaced individuals as direct beneficiaries of First Amendment rights, and to show that they have done so recently, but with growing speed since Virginia Pharmacy, Bellotti, and Central Hudson. Nearly half of First Amendment challenges now benefit business corporations and trade groups, rather than other kinds of organizations or individuals, and the trend-line is up. Such cases commonly constitute a form of corruption: the use of litigation by managers to entrench reregulation in their personal interests at the expense of shareholders, consumers, and employees. In aggregate, they degrade the rule of law, rendering it less predictable, general and clear. This corruption risks significant economic harms in addition to the loss of a republican form of government.

Cost Sharing Arrangements and Income Shifting

May 8, 2015 Comments off

Cost Sharing Arrangements and Income Shifting
Source: Social Science Research Network

This study investigates the cost sharing arrangement (CSA), which is a mechanism used by multinational corporations (MNCs) to shift valuable intellectual property (IP) offshore to low-tax jurisdictions. We find that a CSA enables the MNC to shift income to low-tax foreign jurisdictions when the effect of domestic marketing intangibles on foreign income exceeds the effect of foreign marketing intangibles on domestic income. We also find that a CSA is less attractive if payments for the use of IP are not based on the fair market value of that IP. If the MNC can understate the value, it prefers to sell domestically developed IP to a foreign subsidiary, which in turn will develop the IP. If the tax authority can overstate the value by imposing retroactive revaluations of the IP, the MNC prefers to develop the IP domestically.

A Quantitative Analysis of Writing Style on the U.S. Supreme Court

May 7, 2015 Comments off

A Quantitative Analysis of Writing Style on the U.S. Supreme Court
Source: Social Science Research Network

This paper presents the results of a quantitative analysis of writing style for the entire corpus of U.S. Supreme Court decisions. The basis for this analysis is frequency of function words, which has been found to be a useful “stylistic fingerprint” and which we use as a general proxy for the stylistic features of a text or group of texts. Based on this stylistic fingerprint measure, we examine temporal trends on the Court, verifying that there is a “style of the time” and that contemporaneous Justices are more stylistically similar to their peers than to temporally remote Justices. We examine potential “internal” causes of stylistic changes, and conduct an in-depth analysis of the role of the modern institution of the judicial clerk in influencing writing style on the Court. Using two different measures of stylistic consistency, one measuring intra-year consistency on the Court and the other examining inter-year consistency for individual Justices, we find evidence that clerks have increased the institutional consistency of the Court, but have reduced the individual consistency of the Justices.

See: 5 of 10 Supreme Court Justices in History who Used Least Friendly Language are on the Court Now (AllGov.com)

What Happened to the Class of 2010? Empirical Evidence of Structural Change in the Legal Profession

May 1, 2015 Comments off

What Happened to the Class of 2010? Empirical Evidence of Structural Change in the Legal Profession
Source: Social Science Research Network

Poor employment outcomes have plagued law school graduates for several years. Legal scholars have debated whether these outcomes stem from macroeconomic cycles or from fundamental changes in the market for legal services. This Article examines that question empirically, using a database of employment outcomes for more than 1,200 lawyers who received their JDs in 2010. The analysis offers strong evidence of structural shifts in the legal market. Job outcomes have improved only marginally for the Class of 2010, those outcomes contrast sharply with results for earlier classes, and law firm jobs have dropped markedly. In addition to discussing these results, the Article examines correlations between job outcomes and gender, law school prestige, and geography. In a concluding section, it offers four predictions about the future of the legal market and the economics of legal education.

Preparing a Referee Report: Guidelines and Perspectives

April 29, 2015 Comments off

Preparing a Referee Report: Guidelines and Perspectives
Source: Social Science Research Network

Peer review is fundamental to the efficacy of the scientific process. We draw from our experience both as editors, authors and association representatives to provide a set of guidelines for referees in preparing their reports and cover letters to journal editors. While our document is directed to anyone asked to review a paper, our suggestions are especially relevant for new members of the profession when preparing their first reports.

California’s New Vagrancy Laws: The Growing Enactment and Enforcement of Anti-Homeless Laws in the Golden State

April 7, 2015 Comments off

California’s New Vagrancy Laws: The Growing Enactment and Enforcement of Anti-Homeless Laws in the Golden State
Source: Social Science Research Network

Vagrancy laws conjure up a distant past when authorities punished people without a home or permanent residence. Whether the objects of pity or scorn, vagrants could be cited or jailed under laws selectively enforced against anyone deemed undesirable. Although such laws have generally been struck down by courts as unconstitutionally vague, today’s “vagrants” are homeless people, who face growing harassment and punishment for their presence in public.

More than one in five homeless people in the country lives in California, and two-thirds are unsheltered. The state legislature has done little to respond to this widespread problem, forcing municipal governments to address homelessness with local laws and resources. Cities have responded by enacting and enforcing new vagrancy laws — a wide range of municipal codes that target or disproportionately impact homeless people.

Through extensive archival research and case studies of several cities, the report presents detailed evidence of the growing enactment and enforcement of municipal anti-homeless laws in recent decades as cities engage in a race to the bottom to push out homeless people. It concludes with a call for a state-level solution to end the expensive and inhumane treatment of some of California’s most vulnerable residents.

HarvardX and MITx: Two Years of Open Online Courses Fall 2012-Summer 2014

April 3, 2015 Comments off

HarvardX and MITx: Two Years of Open Online Courses Fall 2012-Summer 2014
Source: Social Science Research Network

What happens when well-known universities offer online courses, assessments, and certificates of completion for free? Early descriptions of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have emphasized large enrollments, low certification rates, and highly educated registrants. We use data from two years and 68 open online courses offered by Harvard University (via HarvardX) and MIT (via MITx) to broaden the scope of answers to this question. We describe trends over this two-year span, depict participant intent using comprehensive survey instruments, and chart course participation pathways using network analysis. We find that overall participation in our MOOCs remains substantial and that the average growth has been steady. We explore how diverse audiences — including explorers, teachers-as-learners, and residential students — provide opportunities to advance the principles on which HarvardX and MITx were founded: access, research, and residential education.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,053 other followers