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Full-Text Articles in Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation

Summary: Designing Successful Carbon Markets, Arthur Van Benthem Sep 2019

Summary: Designing Successful Carbon Markets, Arthur Van Benthem

Wharton PPI B-School for Public Policy Seminar Summaries

There are a lot of developments happening right now in carbon markets in different parts of the world—from New Zealand to Canada and many points in between. As policymakers continue to explore cap-and-trade in the United States, there is much to learn about what does and doesn’t work from these carbon markets already in place.


Summary: The Decline Of U.S. Corporate Investment, Joao F. Gomes Sep 2019

Summary: The Decline Of U.S. Corporate Investment, Joao F. Gomes

Wharton PPI B-School for Public Policy Seminar Summaries

U.S. corporations over the past decade have shied away from making large-scale capital investments. Given their reticence, does it make economic sense for the government to pursue major investments in infrastructure at this time?


Summary: Insuring High Risks Fairly, Protecting Individuals Against Flood Losses, Howard Kunreuther Sep 2019

Summary: Insuring High Risks Fairly, Protecting Individuals Against Flood Losses, Howard Kunreuther

Wharton PPI B-School for Public Policy Seminar Summaries

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) encompasses issues of risk transparency and fairness. There is general agreement that floodplain residents need to know their risk-based insurance premium-and with that information, how to make their homes safer and thus make flood insurance more affordable. In this B-School Seminar, Professor Howard Kunreuther focused on the importance of accurate mapping of flood risk, how to encourage investment in cost effective mitigation measures, and ways to deal with fairness and affordability in designing a flood insurance program for the future.


Improving Future Policy Responses To Foreseeable Bank Risk-Taking, Joao F. Gomes, Marco Grotteria, Jessica A. Wachter Sep 2019

Improving Future Policy Responses To Foreseeable Bank Risk-Taking, Joao F. Gomes, Marco Grotteria, Jessica A. Wachter

Wharton Public Policy Initiative Issue Briefs

This brief offers new perspectives on the behavior of banks during the financial crisis of 2007-08 and the limited success of unconventional monetary policies in stimulating bank credit to the private sector during the subsequent economic recovery. The common narrative about the financial crisis is that it was caused by a large credit expansion with overly risky loan-granting behavior by banks. We argue, however, that banks actually made optimal financial decisions in the lead-up to the crisis, based on their calculation of their franchise value. The brief explains the mechanics of franchise value—how it led banks to shift their ...


Public Interests And Economic Regulation Of Gambling, Rein Halbersma, Joost Poort May 2019

Public Interests And Economic Regulation Of Gambling, Rein Halbersma, Joost Poort

International Conference on Gambling & Risk Taking

In the Netherlands, the Betting and Gaming Act from 1964 largely determines the current structure of gambling markets. The policy was to channel consumers to a limited number of licensed operators. This led to state-owned monopolies for lotteries, sports betting and casinos, a private monopoly for horse race betting, a limited number of privately owned charity lotteries, and a large number of private slot machines operators.

Pending legislation proposes an online market without a limit on the number of operators. Furthermore, state ownership will be phased out, and introduced legislation to privatizing and expanding the number of casinos. The current ...


Local Food Policy & Consumer Food Cooperatives: Evolutionary Case Studies, Afton Hupper May 2019

Local Food Policy & Consumer Food Cooperatives: Evolutionary Case Studies, Afton Hupper

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Darwin’s theory of natural selection has played a central role in the development of the biological sciences, but evolution can also explain change in human culture. Institutions, mechanisms that govern behavior and social order, are important subjects of cultural evolution. Institutions can help stabilize cooperation, defined as behavior that benefits others, often at a personal cost. Cooperation is important for solving social dilemmas, scenarios in which the interests of the individual conflict with those of the group. A number of mechanisms by which institutions evolve to support cooperation have been identified, yet theoretical models of institutional change have rarely ...


What’S In Your Wallet (And What Should The Law Do About It?), Natasha Sarin May 2019

What’S In Your Wallet (And What Should The Law Do About It?), Natasha Sarin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In traditional markets, firms can charge prices that are significantly elevated relative to their costs only if there is a market failure. However, this is not true in a two-sided market (like Amazon, Uber, and Mastercard), where firms often subsidize one side of the market and generate revenue from the other. This means consideration of one side of the market in isolation is problematic. The Court embraced this view in Ohio v. American Express, requiring that anticompetitive harm on one side of a two-sided market be weighed against benefits on the other side.

Legal scholars denounce this decision, which, practically ...


The Tcja And The Questionable Incentive To Incorporate, Part 2, Michael S. Knoll Mar 2019

The Tcja And The Questionable Incentive To Incorporate, Part 2, Michael S. Knoll

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has put the question should a business be organized as a passthrough entity or as a corporation at center stage. The TCJA eliminated much of the tax disadvantage from using the corporate form, but did Congress go so far that it advantaged corporations relative to pass-through entities? Some prominent commentators say yes. They argue that the federal income tax now encourages individual owners of pass-through businesses to restructure their business as subchapter C corporations, and they predict that the TCJA will lead to a cascade of incorporations. The principal driver of the shift ...


The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy H: The Global Contagion, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Andrew Metrick Mar 2019

The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy H: The Global Contagion, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Andrew Metrick

Journal of Financial Crises

When Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy on September 15, 2008, it was the largest such filing in U.S. history and a huge shock to the world’s financial markets, which were already stressed from the deflated housing bubble and questions about subprime mortgages. Lehman was the fourth-largest U.S. investment bank with assets of $639 billion and its operations spread across the globe. Lehman’s clients and counterparties began to disclose millions of dollars of potential losses as they accounted for their exposures. But the impact of Lehman’s demise was felt well beyond its counterparties. Concern regarding its ...


The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy G: The Special Case Of Derivatives, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Andrew Metrick Mar 2019

The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy G: The Special Case Of Derivatives, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Andrew Metrick

Journal of Financial Crises

When it filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2008, Lehman Brothers was an active participant in the derivatives market and was party to 906,000 derivative transactions of all types under 6,120 ISDA Master Agreements with an estimated notional value of $35 trillion. The majority of Lehman’s derivatives were bilateral agreements not traded on an exchange but in the over-the-counter (OTC) market. Because derivatives enjoyed an exemption from the automatic stay provisions of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, parties to Lehman’s derivatives could seek resolution and self-protection without the guidance and restraint of the bankruptcy court. The ...


The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy F: Introduction To The Isda Master Agreement, Christian M. Mcnamara, Andrew Metrick Mar 2019

The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy F: Introduction To The Isda Master Agreement, Christian M. Mcnamara, Andrew Metrick

Journal of Financial Crises

When Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc. (LBHI) sought Chapter 11 protection, the more than 6,000 counterparties with which its subsidiaries had entered into over 900,000 over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives transactions faced the question of how best to respond to protect their interests. The existence of standardized documentation developed by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) for entering into such transactions meant that the counterparties likely thought that they were dealing with a well-defined and robust set of options in answering this question. Yet, in practice, the resolution of Lehman’s OTC derivatives portfolio ended up being less orderly than ...


The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy E: The Effects On Lehman’S U.S. Broker-Dealer, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Andrew Metrick Mar 2019

The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy E: The Effects On Lehman’S U.S. Broker-Dealer, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Andrew Metrick

Journal of Financial Crises

Lehman’s U.S. broker-dealer, Lehman Brothers Inc. (LBI), was excluded from the parent company’s bankruptcy filing on September 15, 2008, because it was thought that the solvent subsidiary might be able to wind down its affairs in a normal fashion. However, the force of the parent’s demise proved too strong, and within days, LBI and dozens of Lehman subsidiaries around the world were also in liquidation. As a regulated broker-dealer, LBI was required to comply with the Securities and Exchange Commission financial-responsibility rules for broker-dealers, including maintaining customer assets separately. However, the corporate complexity and enterprise integration ...


The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy D: The Role Of Ernst & Young, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Rosalind L. Bennett, Andrew Metrick Mar 2019

The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy D: The Role Of Ernst & Young, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Rosalind L. Bennett, Andrew Metrick

Journal of Financial Crises

For many years prior to its demise, Lehman Brothers employed Ernst & Young (EY) as the firm’s independent auditors to review its financial statements and express an opinion as to whether they fairly represented the company’s financial position. EY was supposed to try to detect fraud, determine whether a matter should be publicly disclosed, and communicate certain issues to Lehman’s Board audit committee. After Lehman filed for bankruptcy, it was discovered that the firm had employed questionable accounting with regard to an unorthodox financing transaction, Repo 105, which it used to make its results appear better than they ...


The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy C: Managing The Balance Sheet Through The Use Of Repo 105, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Andrew Metrick Mar 2019

The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy C: Managing The Balance Sheet Through The Use Of Repo 105, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Andrew Metrick

Journal of Financial Crises

The Lehman Brothers court-appointed bankruptcy examiner produced a 2,200-page report detailing possible claims that the estate might pursue. The most surprising revelation of the report was that during its last year Lehman had relied heavily on an unusual financing transaction—Repo 105. The examiner concluded that Lehman’s aggressive use of Repo 105 transactions enabled it to remove up to $50 billion of assets from its balance sheet at quarter-end and to manipulate its leverage ratio so that it could report more favorable results. This case considers in-depth Lehman’s questionable use of Repo 105 transactions and its impact.


The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy B: Risk Limits And Stress Tests, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Andrew Metrick Mar 2019

The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy B: Risk Limits And Stress Tests, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Andrew Metrick

Journal of Financial Crises

Investment banks are in the business of taking calculated risks. Risk management infrastructure facilitates the safe pursuit of profits and the balancing of associated risks. By 2006, Lehman Brothers was thought to have a very respectable risk management system, and even its regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, viewed its risk framework as being fully compliant with regulatory requirements. In its public disclosures, Lehman characterized its risk controls as “meaningful constraints on its risk taking” and evidence of its continued financial stability. Beginning in late 2006, however, Lehman began dismantling its carefully crafted risk management framework as it pursued a ...


Platforms And The Rule Of Reason: The American Express Case, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Mar 2019

Platforms And The Rule Of Reason: The American Express Case, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In Ohio v. American Express Co., the Supreme Court applied antitrust’s rule of reason to a two-sided platform. The challenge was to an “anti-steering” rule, a vertical restraint preventing merchants from shifting customers who offered an AmEx card from to a less costly alternative such as Visa or Mastercard.

A two-sided platform is a business that depends on relationships between two different, noncompeting groups of transaction partners. For example, a printed periodical such as a newspaper earns revenue by selling both advertising and subscriptions to the paper itself. Success depends on a platform’s ability to maintain the appropriate ...


The Tcja And The Questionable Incentive To Incorporate, Michael S. Knoll Mar 2019

The Tcja And The Questionable Incentive To Incorporate, Michael S. Knoll

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has put the question should a business be organized as a passthrough entity or as a corporation at center stage. The TCJA eliminated much of the tax disadvantage from using the corporate form, but did Congress go so far that it advantaged corporations relative to pass-through entities? Some prominent commentators say yes. They argue that the federal income tax now encourages individual owners of pass-through businesses to restructure their business as subchapter C corporations, and they predict that the TCJA will lead to a cascade of incorporations. The principal driver of the shift ...


The Impact Of The Durbin Amendment On Banks, Merchants, And Consumers, Vladimir Mukharlyamov, Natasha Sarin Jan 2019

The Impact Of The Durbin Amendment On Banks, Merchants, And Consumers, Vladimir Mukharlyamov, Natasha Sarin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

After the Great Recession, new regulatory interventions were introduced to protect consumers and reduce the costs of financial products. Some voiced concern that direct price regulation was unlikely to help consumers, because banks offset losses in one domain by increasing the prices that they charge consumers for other products. This paper studies this issue using the Durbin Amendment, which decreased the interchange fees that banks are allowed to charge merchants for processing debit transactions. Merchant interchange fees, previously averaging 2 percent of transaction value, were capped at $0.22, decreasing bank revenue by $6.5 billion annually. The objective of ...


Slogans Appropriate To The Legacy Of Martin Luther King Jr., Theodore Walker Jan 2019

Slogans Appropriate To The Legacy Of Martin Luther King Jr., Theodore Walker

Perkins Faculty Research and Special Events

For printing signs, banners, posters, tee shirts, and bumper stickers (and for preaching sermons) that are appropriate to the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., please consider the following slogans: ABOLISH WAR, ABOLISH POVERTY, AMEND THE CONSTITUTION, SUPPORT AN ECONOMIC BILL OF RIGHTS, JOBS FOR ALL, GUARANTEED INCOME FOR ALL, SUPPORT UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME, and GOOD NEWS TO THE POOR - Luke 4:14-19.


The Legalization Of Street Vending In Los Angeles: Exploring The Impact On Vendors And Their Livelihoods, Karen Alpuche Caceres Jan 2019

The Legalization Of Street Vending In Los Angeles: Exploring The Impact On Vendors And Their Livelihoods, Karen Alpuche Caceres

Pomona Senior Theses

This thesis aims to unpack the impact the legalization of street vending and the subsequent regulation had on sidewalk vendors. Although legalization occurred state-wide through Senate Bill 946 in September of 2017, the rules and regulations for vending were passed at a city-level, and I am focusing on the City of Los Angeles specifically. Through interviews with government officials, non-profit partners and advocates, and vendors from different parts of the City, I analyze information around the policy itself, its history, and the impact it has and is expected to have on vendors and their businesses. While vendors have been central ...


Is Antitrust's Consumer Welfare Principle Imperiled?, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2019

Is Antitrust's Consumer Welfare Principle Imperiled?, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Antitrust’s consumer welfare principle stands for the proposition that antitrust policy should encourage markets to produce output as high as is consistent with sustainable competition, and prices that are accordingly as low. Such a policy does not protect every interest group. For example, it opposes the interests of cartels or other competition-limiting associations who profit from lower output and higher prices. It also runs counter to the interest of less competitive firms that need higher prices in order to survive. Market structure is relevant to antitrust policy, but its importance is contingent rather than absolute – that is, market structure ...


The Spirit Is Willing, But The Flesh Is Weak: Contemporary Pan-Africanism And The Challenges To A United States Of Africa, Adesola Adeyemo Dec 2018

The Spirit Is Willing, But The Flesh Is Weak: Contemporary Pan-Africanism And The Challenges To A United States Of Africa, Adesola Adeyemo

Master's Theses

Establishing a ‘United States of Africa’ to the average individual is deemed as a mythical idea in contemporary Africa, irrespective of the popularity of this idea several years ago. Today, the idea is idealized as overambitious – considering the balkanized state of the continent post-colonialization. Because of this, attempts made since then have favored enforcing regional integration over continental integration. Undeniably, this idea would not have come into being if it wasn’t for the concept of Pan-Africanism - which has for long guided the political and socio-economic policies created on the continent. The goal of this research is to explore the ...


The Salience Theory Of Consumer Financial Regulation, Natasha Sarin Aug 2018

The Salience Theory Of Consumer Financial Regulation, Natasha Sarin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Prior to the financial crisis, banks’ fee income was their fastest-growing source of revenue. This revenue was often generated through nefarious bank practices (e.g., ordering overdraft transactions for maximal fees). The crisis focused popular attention on the extent to which current regulatory tools failed consumers in these markets, and policymakers responded: A new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was tasked with monitoring consumer finance products, and some of the earliest post-crisis financial reforms sought to lower consumer costs. This Article is the first to empirically evaluate the success of the consumer finance reform agenda by considering three recent price regulations ...


Pretrial Release And Failure-To-Appear In Mclean County, Il, Jonathan Monsma Jul 2018

Pretrial Release And Failure-To-Appear In Mclean County, Il, Jonathan Monsma

Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development to Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development—Student Research

Actuarial risk assessment tools increasingly have been employed in jurisdictions across the U.S. to assist courts in the decision of whether someone charged with a crime should be detained or released prior to their trial. These tools should be continually monitored and researched by independent 3rd parties to ensure that these powerful tools are being administered properly and used in the most proficient way as to provide socially optimal results. McLean County, Illinois began using the Public Safety Assessment-CourtTM (PSA-Court or simply PSA) risk assessment tool beginning in 2016. This study culls data from the McLean County ...


Behavioral Finance, Decumulation And The Regulatory Strategy For Robo-Advice, Tom Baker, Benedict Dellaert Jul 2018

Behavioral Finance, Decumulation And The Regulatory Strategy For Robo-Advice, Tom Baker, Benedict Dellaert

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This working paper surveys the decumulation services offered by investment robo-advisors as a case study with which to examine regulatory and market structure issues raised by automated financial advice. We provide a short introduction to decumulation, describing some of the uncertainties involved in identifying optimal decumulation strategies and sketching a few of the ‘rules of thumb’ that financial advisors have developed in this area in the face of this uncertainty. Next we describe behavioral effects that could inhibit consumers from following an optimal decumulation strategy, concluding that, left to their own devices, consumers are likely to make sub-optimal decumulation decisions ...


Intellectual Property And The Economics Of Product Differentiation, Christopher S. Yoo Jul 2018

Intellectual Property And The Economics Of Product Differentiation, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The literature applying the economics of product differentiation to intellectual property has been called the most important development in the economic analysis of IP in years. Relaxing the assumption that products are homogeneous yields new insights by explaining persistent features of IP markets that the traditional approaches cannot, challenging the extent to which IP allows rightsholders to earn monopoly profits, allowing for sources of welfare outside of price-quantity space, which in turn opens up new dimensions along which intellectual property can compete. It also allows for equilibria with different welfare characteristics, making the tendency towards systematic underproduction more contingent and ...


Rethinking The Fiscal Relationship Between Public Lands And Public Land Counties: County Payments 4.0, Mark Haggerty May 2018

Rethinking The Fiscal Relationship Between Public Lands And Public Land Counties: County Payments 4.0, Mark Haggerty

Humboldt Journal of Social Relations

In 1908, Congress authorized payments to local governments, including counties and school districts, to compensate for the non-taxable status of the newly established forest reserves within their boundaries. The original program shared revenue generated from commercial activities on public lands, e.g. timber harvesting, not anticipating the major changes in the volume and types of activities on National Forest lands, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, that have played out over the past century. Two subsequent reforms – the appropriated Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) in 1976 and ‘transition’ payments made between 1990 and 2018, including payments associated with the Northwest ...


The Policy Trajectories Of Autonomous Vehicles, John Paul Macduffie May 2018

The Policy Trajectories Of Autonomous Vehicles, John Paul Macduffie

Wharton Public Policy Initiative Issue Briefs

Autonomous Vehicle (AV) technology promises to dramatically reduce deaths and economic losses from crashes caused by human error, increase mobility for those with disabilities, and revolutionize the auto industry. Yet legislation to facilitate oversight of the development and deployment of AVs is stalling in Congress. Professor John Paul MacDuffie offers a primer on AV technology policy, and discusses strategies for addressing safety and other public concerns while still facilitating AV innovation in the private sector.


Protecting San Francisco Residents From The Wolves Of Wall Street: A Case Study, Jessica Lindquist May 2018

Protecting San Francisco Residents From The Wolves Of Wall Street: A Case Study, Jessica Lindquist

Master's Projects and Capstones

This research conducts the first deep data analysis of the public complaints filed to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Consumer Complaint database by San Francisco residents. The case study highlights how consumer financial harms are a citywide problem: San Franciscans living at every income level and in every part of the city are struggling to resolve their financial issues with the wolves of Wall Street, the financial services industry. The recommendations center on what the city, particularly the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment, can do at a local level now that the Trump administration is focused on deregulating ...


Impact Of Innovative Menstrual Technology And Awareness On Female Empowerment Outcomes In Rural Nepal, Anjali Limbu May 2018

Impact Of Innovative Menstrual Technology And Awareness On Female Empowerment Outcomes In Rural Nepal, Anjali Limbu

Master's Theses

In developing countries, menstruation poses two significant challenges for females. First, the resources required for periods are expensive for those in low-income communities. Hence, the absence of such menstrual products lowers females’ access to schooling and employment. Next, periods are also heavily stigmatized – especially in poorer or rural areas. Such taboos surrounding menstruation negatively impacts females’ psychological development and hamper their prospects of socialization. Thus, to analyze this issue, we ran a randomized control trial in Nepal, where we provided reusable menstrual pads and / or health seminar to 312 schoolgirls and 100 of their mothers. Our outcomes demonstrate that the ...