Fall 2009 Workshops
Law and Economic Studies
September 14, 2009
Douglas G. Baird
University of Chicago Law School
Authored with Robert K. Rasmussen
Abstract - In large Chapter 11 cases, the prototypical creditor is no longer a small player holding a claim much like everyone else’s, but rather a distressed debt professional advancing her own agenda. Secured creditors are more pervasive and enjoy much more control than they had even a decade ago. Moreover, financial innovation has dramatically increased the complexity of each investor’s position. As a result of these and other changes, the legal system faces today a challenge that is much like assembling a city block that has been broken up into many parcels. There exists an anti-commons problem, a world in which ownership interests are fragmented and conflicting. This is quite at odds with the standard account of Chapter 11—that it solves a tragedy of the commons, the collective action problem that exists when general creditors share numerous dispersed, but otherwise similar, interests. This paper draws on the lessons of cooperative game theory to show how in combination these recent changes are toxic. They undermine the coalition formation process that is a foundational assumption of Chapter 11.
Baird - Fall 09 WS
October 5, 2009
Vicki L. Been
New York University School of Law
Matching Words and Deeds? An Analysis of the Bloomberg-Era Rezonings in New York City
Authored with Simon McDonnell and Josiah Madar
Abstract - New York City policymakers are planning for a city of over 9 million residents by 2030, a large increase from today. In order to accommodate these new residents while simultaneously encouraging economic development opportunities, improving quality of life and improving the City’s environmental performance, the City has launched an ambitious land use and planning agenda. This agenda emphasizes increasing residential density near public transportation. One of the main tools available to the City to realize its planning agenda is proposing neighborhood-level zoning changes, more than 90 of which have been enacted since 2002. In this study, we calculate the cumulative impact on residential development capacity of the approximately 80% of these rezoning actions that occurred between 2003 and 2007. We make this calculation by identifying the lots affected by these rezonings and estimating the maximum permitted residential building area of these lots at the beginning and end of this period. With this data, we calculate the residential development capacity changes resulting from different types of rezonings and the relationship between capacity changes and transit accessibility. Our results indicate that the net impact of the rezonings in our study is a modest increase in residential development capacity, much of which is indeed focused in transit-accessible neighborhoods. However, a large portion of the increase was in zoning districts that permit non-residential uses as well. This raises the possibility that competition from other types of development will prevent some of this capacity from being used to accommodate residential growth.
Been - Fall 09 WS
October 19, 2009
Lee Anne Fennell
University of Chicago Law School
Abstract - Scholars have explored many ways to rearrange risk outside of traditional insurance markets. An interesting literature addresses a range of innovative alternatives, including the sale of unmatured legal claims or chances at windfalls, “anti-insurance” or “reverse insurance,” and index-based derivatives that address routine (but life-altering) risks, such as those to home values or livelihoods. Because most of this work grows out of a conviction that specific risk allocations embedded in law could be improved upon, the merits of the newly proposed risk arrangements have taken center stage. But reversing familiar patterns of risk-bearing also raises questions about risk customization itself, such as the optimal amount of stickiness in society's default risk allocations, the effects of heterogeneity in risk arrangements, and the implications (cognitive and otherwise) of starting from one risk baseline rather than another. In this paper, I examine how and why risk reversibility matters, with a focus on risks routinely encountered by individuals and households.
Fennell - Fall 09 WS
November 2, 2009
Yale Law School
Rationality and Consent in Privacy Law
This paper is not available for posting to the site
November 16, 2009
Yale Law School
Groups and Individuals
This paperis not available for posting to the site.
November 30, 2009
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Beyond the Classroom: Using Title IX to Measure the Return to High School Sports
Abstract - Previous research has found that male high school athletes experience better outcomes than non-athletes, including higher educational attainment, employment rates, and wages. However, students self-select into athletics so these may be selection effects rather than causal effects. To address this issue, I examine Title IX which provides a unique quasi-experiment in female athletic participation. Between 1972 and 1978 U.S. high schools rapidly increased their female athletic participation rates—to approximately the same level as their male athletic participation rates—in order to comply with Title IX. This paper uses variation in the level of boys’ athletic participation across states before Title IX as an instrument for the change in girls’ athletic participation over the 1970s. Analyzing differences in outcomes for both the pre- and post-Title IX cohorts across states, I find that a 10-percentage point rise in state-level female sports participation generates a 1 percentage point increase in female college attendance and a 1 to 2 percentage point rise in female labor force participation. Furthermore, greater opportunities to play sports leads to greater female participation in previously male-dominated occupations, particularly for high-skill occupations.