Found 729 article(s) in category 'Regulation'

The Inherent Failures of Long-Term Contracts — and How to Fix Them

The Inherent Failures of Long-Term Contracts — and How to Fix Them. Oliver Hart, September 3, 2019, Audio, “Oliver Hart, Nobel-winning Harvard economist, and Kate Vitasek, faculty at the University of Tennessee, argue that many business contracts are imperfect, no matter how bulletproof you try to make them. Especially in complicated relationships such as outsourcing, one side ends up feeling like they’re getting a bad deal, and it can spiral into a tit for tat battle. Hart and Vitasek argue that companies should instead adopt so-called relational contracts. Their research shows that creating a general playbook built around principles like fairness and reciprocity offers greater benefits to both businesses. Hart and Vitasek, with the Swedish attorney David Frydlinger, cowrote the HBR article “A New Approach to Contracts.”Link

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Can Capitalism Be Made Better By Corporate Social Responsibility?

Can Capitalism Be Made Better By Corporate Social Responsibility? Nancy Koehn, August 23, 2019, Audio, “This week, nearly 200 CEOs pledged to discard a foundational tenet of business: that corporations exist only to serve their shareholders.  Chief executives from the Business Roundtable — including leaders of Apple, JP Morgan Chase, and Amazon, argued this week that the purpose of a corporation is to promote “an economy that serves all Americans.” Nancy Koehn, historian at Harvard Business School, said this declaration is a direct response to the public’s growing voice in holding corporations accountable.Link

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Securing Property Rights

Securing Property Rights. Edward Glaeser, Andrei Shleifer, August 19, 2019, Paper, “A central challenge in securing property rights is the subversion of justice through legal skill, bribery, or physical force by the strong—the state or its powerful citizens—against the weak. We present evidence that undue influence on judges is a common concern in many countries, especially among the poor. We then present a model of a water polluter whose discharges contaminate adjacent land. If this polluter can subvert the assessment of damages caused by his activity, there is an efficiency case for granting the landowner the right to an injunction that stops the polluter, rather than the right to compensation for the harm. If the polluter can subvert even the determination of his responsibility for harm, there is an efficiency case for regulation that restricts pollution regardless of its effects. We then conduct an empirical analysis of water quality in the U.S. before and after the Clean Water Act, and show how regulation brought about cleaner water, particularly in states with higher corruption.Link

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A Unified Welfare Analysis of Government Policies

A Unified Welfare Analysis of Government Policies. Nathaniel Hendren, August 2018, Paper, “We conduct a comparative welfare analysis of 133 historical policy changes over the past half-century in the United States, focusing on policies in social insurance, education and job training, taxes and cash transfers, and in-kind transfers. For each policy, we use existing causal estimates to calculate both the benefit that each policy provides its recipients (measured as their willingness to pay) and the policy’s net cost, inclusive of long-term impacts on the government’s budget. We divide the willingness to pay by the net cost to the government to form each policy’s Marginal Value of Public Funds, or its “MVPF”. Comparing MVPFs across policies provides a unified method of assessing their impact on social welfare. Our results suggest that direct investments in low-income children’s health and education have historically had the highest MVPFs, on average exceeding 5. Many such policies have paid for themselves as governments recouped the cost of their initial expenditures through additional taxes collected and reduced transfers.Link

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Prices versus Quantities across Jurisdictions

Prices versus Quantities across Jurisdictions. Martin Weitzman, August 9, 2019, Paper, “We extend the standard “prices versus quantities” framework for pollution control to cover multiple heterogeneous jurisdictions interacting strategically with each other. When multi-jurisdictional externalities are present and the uncertainties among jurisdictions are independent, the regulatory game exhibits a unique subgame perfect equilibrium. For any one jurisdiction, the equilibrium choice of instrument is given by the sign of the original prices versus quantities formula. Thus, it is an optimal strategy for a jurisdiction to choose a price instrument when the slope of its own marginal benefit is less than the slope of its own marginal cost and a quantity instrument when this condition is reversed. The result suggests that the original nonstrategic criterion for the comparative advantage of prices over quantities may have wider applicability to determining instrument choice in a noncooperative strategic environment.Link

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Market Reaction to Mandatory Nonfinancial Disclosure

Market Reaction to Mandatory Nonfinancial Disclosure. George Serafeim, August 8, 2019, Paper, “We examine the equity market reaction to events associated with the passage of a directive in the European Union (EU) mandating increased nonfinancial disclosure. These disclosures relate to firms’ environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance, and would be applicable to firms listed on EU exchanges or with significant operations in the EU. We predict and find (i) an average negative market reaction of –0.79% across all firms, (ii) a less negative market reaction for firms having higher predirective nonfinancial performance, and (iii) a less negative reaction for firms having higher predirective nonfinancial disclosure levels. In addition, results are accentuated for firms having the most material ESG issues, as well as investors anticipating proprietary and political costs as a result of the mandated disclosures. Finally, we find that the negative market reaction is concentrated in firms with weak preregulation ESG performance and disclosure, which exhibit an average return of –1.54%; in contrast, firms with strong preregulation disclosure and performance exhibit an average positive return of 0.52%. Overall, the results are consistent with the equity market perceiving net costs (benefits) for firms with weak (strong) nonfinancial performance and disclosure around key events surrounding the mandatory disclosure regulation of nonfinancial information.Link

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Costs, Benefits and Regulation Post-Trump

Costs, Benefits and Regulation Post-Trump. Cass Sunstein, August 1, 2019, Opinion, ““I told you so.” That is what some progressives are saying about bipartisan policies that Democratic presidents carried over from their Republican predecessors and that the Trump administration is sometimes putting in a less-than-wonderful light.Link

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Tax Administration vs. Tax Rates: Evidence from Corporate Taxation in Indonesia

Tax Administration vs. Tax Rates: Evidence from Corporate Taxation in Indonesia. Rema Hanna, August 2019, Paper, “Developing countries collect a far lower share of GDP in taxes than richer countries. This paper asks whether changes in tax administration and tax rates can nevertheless raise substantial additional revenue – and if so, which approach is most effective. We study corporate taxation in Indonesia, where the government implemented two reforms that differentially affected firms. First, we show that increasing tax administration intensity by moving the top firms in each region into “Medium-Sized Taxpayer Offices,” with much higher staff-to-taxpayer ratios, more than doubled tax revenue from affected firms over six years, with increasing impacts over time. Second, using non-linear changes to the corporate income tax schedule, we estimate an elasticity of taxable income of 0.59, which implies that the revenue-maximizing rate is almost double the current rate. The increased revenue from improvements in tax administration is equivalent to raising the marginal corporate tax rate on affected firms by about 23 percentage points. We suggest one reason improved tax administration was so effective was that it flattened the relationship between firm size and enforcement, removing the additional “enforcement tax” on large firms. On net, our results suggest that improving tax administration can have significant returns for developing country governments.Link

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