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Full-Text Articles in Public Law and Legal Theory

Falling Between The Cracks: Understanding Why States Fail In Protecting Our Children From Crime, Michal Gilad Nov 2018

Falling Between The Cracks: Understanding Why States Fail In Protecting Our Children From Crime, Michal Gilad

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The article is the first to take an inclusive look at the monumental problem of crime exposure during childhood, which is estimated to be one of the most damaging and costly public health and public safety problem in our society today. It takes-on the challenging task of ‘naming’ the problem by coining the term Comprehensive Childhood Crime Impact or in short the Triple-C Impact. Informed by scientific findings, the term embodies the full effect of direct and indirect crime exposure on children due to their unique developmental characteristics, and the spillover effect the problem has on our society as a ...


Uncontrolled Experiments From The Laboratories Of Democracy: Traditional Cash Welfare, Federalism, And Welfare Reform, Jonah B. Gelbach May 2016

Uncontrolled Experiments From The Laboratories Of Democracy: Traditional Cash Welfare, Federalism, And Welfare Reform, Jonah B. Gelbach

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this chapter I discuss the history and basic incentive effects of two key U.S. cash assistance programs aimed at families with children. Starting roughly in the 1980s, critics of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program argued that the program -- designed largely to cut relatively small checks -- failed to end poverty or promote work. After years of federally provided waivers that allowed states to experiment with changes to their AFDC programs, the critics in 1996 won the outright elimination of AFDC. It was replaced by the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, over which states ...


Compensating The Victims Of Japan’S 3-11 Fukushima Disaster, Eric A. Feldman Jan 2015

Compensating The Victims Of Japan’S 3-11 Fukushima Disaster, Eric A. Feldman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Japan’s March 2011 triple disaster—first a large earthquake, followed by a massive tsunami and a nuclear meltdown—caused a devastating loss of life, damaged and destroyed property, and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless, hurt, and in need. This article looks at the effort to address the financial needs of the victims of the 3/11 disaster by examining the role of public and private actors in providing compensation, describing the types of groups and individuals for whom compensation is available, and analyzing the range of institutions through which compensation has been allocated. The story is in ...


Public Assistance, Drug Testing, And The Law: The Limits Of Population-Based Legal Analysis, Candice T. Player Jan 2014

Public Assistance, Drug Testing, And The Law: The Limits Of Population-Based Legal Analysis, Candice T. Player

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In Populations, Public Health and the Law, legal scholar Wendy Parmet urges courts to embrace population-based legal analysis, a public health inspired approach to legal reasoning. Parmet contends that population-based legal analysis offers a way to analyze legal issues—not unlike law and economics—as well as a set of values from which to critique contemporary legal discourse. Population-based analysis has been warmly embraced by the health law community as a bold new way of analyzing legal issues. Still, population-based analysis is not without its problems. At times, Parmet claims too much territory for the population perspective. Moreover, Parmet urges ...


Happiness Surveys And Public Policy: What’S The Use?, Matthew D. Adler Jan 2013

Happiness Surveys And Public Policy: What’S The Use?, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article provides a comprehensive, critical overview of proposals to use happiness surveys for steering public policy. Happiness or “subjective well-being” surveys ask individuals to rate their present happiness, life-satisfaction, affective state, etc. A massive literature now engages in such surveys or correlates survey responses with individual attributes. And, increasingly, scholars argue for the policy relevance of happiness data: in particular, as a basis for calculating aggregates such as “gross national happiness,” or for calculating monetary equivalents for non-market goods based on coefficients in a happiness equation.

But is individual well-being equivalent to happiness? The happiness literature tends to blur ...


The Social Value Of Mortality Risk Reduction: Vsl Vs. The Social Welfare Function Approach, Matthew D. Adler, James K. Hammitt, Nicholas Treich Mar 2012

The Social Value Of Mortality Risk Reduction: Vsl Vs. The Social Welfare Function Approach, Matthew D. Adler, James K. Hammitt, Nicholas Treich

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

We examine how different welfarist frameworks evaluate the social value of mortality risk-reduction. These frameworks include classical, distributively unweighted cost-benefit analysis—i.e., the “value per statistical life” (VSL) approach—and three benchmark social welfare functions (SWF): a utilitarian SWF, an ex ante prioritarian SWF, and an ex post prioritarian SWF. We examine the conditions on individual utility and on the SWF under which these frameworks display the following five properties: i) wealth sensitivity, ii) sensitivity to baseline risk, iii) equal value of risk reduction, iv) preference for risk equity, and v) catastrophe aversion. We show that the particular manner ...


Harsanyi 2.0, Matthew D. Adler Aug 2011

Harsanyi 2.0, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

How should we make interpersonal comparisons of well-being levels and differences? One branch of welfare economics eschews such comparisons, which are seen as impossible or unknowable; normative evaluation is based upon criteria such as Pareto or Kaldor-Hicks efficiency that require no interpersonal comparability. A different branch of welfare economics, for example optimal tax theory, uses “social welfare functions” (SWFs) to compare social states and governmental policies. Interpersonally comparable utility numbers provide the input for SWFs. But this scholarly tradition has never adequately explained the basis for these numbers.

John Harsanyi, in his work on so-called “extended preferences,” advanced a fruitful ...


Masthead, Editors Jan 2011

Masthead, Editors

University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Social Change

No abstract provided.


Contingent Valuation Studies And Health Policy, Matthew D. Adler Jan 2010

Contingent Valuation Studies And Health Policy, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This short comment argues that both cost-benefit analysis (CBA) and cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) should be seen as imperfect tools for evaluating health policy. This is true, not only for extra-welfarists, but even for welfarists, since both CBA and CEA can deviate from the use of social welfare functions (SWF). A simple model is provided to illustrate the divergence between CBA, CEA, and the SWF approach. With this insight in mind, the comment considers the appropriate role of contingent-valuation studies. For full text, please see: http://www.law.upenn.edu/cf/faculty/madler/workingpapers/578A59B6d01.pdf.


Regulatory Theory, Matthew D. Adler Dec 2009

Regulatory Theory, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This chapter reviews a range of topics connected to the justification of government regulation, including: the definition of “regulation”; welfarism, Kaldor-Hicks efficiency, and the Pareto principles; the fundamental theorems of welfare economics and the “market failure” framework for justifying regulation, which identifies different ways in which the conditions for those theorems may fail to hold true (such as externalities, public goods, monopoly power, and imperfect information); the Coase theorem; and the different forms of regulation.


Happiness Research And Cost-Benefit Analysis, Matthew D. Adler, Eric Posner Jun 2008

Happiness Research And Cost-Benefit Analysis, Matthew D. Adler, Eric Posner

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

A growing body of research on happiness or subjective well-being shows, among other things, that people adapt to many injuries more rapidly than is commonly thought, fail to predict the degree of adaptation and hence overestimate the impact of those injuries on their well-being, and, similarly, enjoy small or moderate rather than significant changes in well-being in response to significant changes in income. Some researchers believe that these findings pose a challenge to cost-benefit analysis, and argue that project evaluation decision-procedures based on economic premises should be replaced with procedures that directly maximize subjective well-being. This view turns out to ...


Engines Of Inequality: Class, Race, And Family Structure, Amy L. Wax Jan 2008

Engines Of Inequality: Class, Race, And Family Structure, Amy L. Wax

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The past 30 years have witnessed a dramatic divergence in family structure by social class, income, education, and race. This article reviews the data on these trends, explores their significance, and assesses social scientists’ recent attempts to explain them. The article concludes that society-wide changes in economic conditions or social expectations cannot account for these patterns. Rather, for reasons that are poorly understood, cultural disparities have emerged by class and race in attitudes and behaviors surrounding family, sexuality, and reproduction. These disparities will likely fuel social and economic inequality and contribute to disparities in children’s life prospects for decades ...


Well-Being, Inequality And Time: The Time-Slice Problem And Its Policy Implications, Matthew D. Adler Aug 2007

Well-Being, Inequality And Time: The Time-Slice Problem And Its Policy Implications, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Should equality be viewed from a lifetime or “sublifetime” perspective? In measuring the inequality of income, for example, should we measure the inequality of lifetime income or of annual income? In characterizing a tax as “progressive” or “regressive,” should we look to whether the annual tax burden increases with annual income, or instead to whether the lifetime tax burden increases with lifetime income? Should the overriding aim of anti-poverty programs be to reduce chronic poverty: being badly off for many years, because of low human capital or other long-run factors? Or is the moral claim of the impoverished person a ...


Policy Analysis For Natural Hazards: Some Cautionary Lessons From Environmental Policy Analysis, Matthew D. Adler Nov 2006

Policy Analysis For Natural Hazards: Some Cautionary Lessons From Environmental Policy Analysis, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

How should agencies and legislatures evaluate possible policies to mitigate the impacts of earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and other natural hazards? In particular, should governmental bodies adopt the sorts of policy-analytic and risk assessment techniques that are widely used in the area of environmental hazards (chemical toxins and radiation)? Environmental hazards policy analysis regularly employs proxy tests, in particular tests of technological “feasibility,” rather than focusing on a policy’s impact on well-being. When human welfare does enter the analysis, particular aspects of well-being, such as health and safety, are often given priority over others. “Individual risk” tests and other features ...


The Unrealized Power Of Mother, Dorothy E. Roberts Jan 1995

The Unrealized Power Of Mother, Dorothy E. Roberts

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.