Data and Decentralization: Measuring the Performance of Legal Institutions in Multilevel Systems of Governance By Kevin E. Davis. Full text here. Most countries rely on multiple levels of government, and many important legal institutions are subnational in scope. There are now several indicators that purport to measure the performance of legal institutions, but they tend…

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Binding Leviathan: Credible Commitment in an Authoritarian Regime By Roderick M. Hills, Jr. & Shitong Qiao. Full text here. The problem of credible commitment dogs every government, whether democratic or authoritarian. Authoritarian bureaucracies face special credible commitment problems. Fear that local officials will build up a local power base has historically induced the leadership of…

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Taobao, Federalism, and the Emergence of Law, Chinese Style By Lizhi Liu & Barry R. Weingast. Full text here. All developing countries face the problem of how to build the legal and institutional infrastructure (for example, securing property rights and the rule of law) necessary to support efficient markets. The historic path for the West…

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Decentralized and Anomalous Interpretation of Chinese Private Law: Understanding a Bureaucratic and Political Judicial System By Yun-chien Chang & Ke Xu. Full text here. China developed without clear entitlements, creating the China Puzzle for law and development theorists. But fundamental statutes regarding contract, torts, and property have now been enacted. Will clear delineation of private…

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Positive and Negative Externalities in Real Estate Development By, Richard A. Epstein. Full text here. In this Article, I offer a unified framework for dealing with positive and negative externalities in real estate transactions. The initial move starts in an imagined world in which a single person owns all real estate, which is then sold…

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By Taylor Mayhall. Full text here. More than fifty U.S. coal mining companies have gone bankrupt since 2012. When a coal mining company goes bankrupt, its ability to clean up, or reclaim, its mines becomes questionable, and the burden may end up falling on taxpayers. This Note addresses the struggle to hold U.S. coal mining…

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By Trevor Matthews. Full text here. Can school districts force students with disabilities to attend schools that segregate them from their peers without disabilities? Case law resulting from federal special education law, particularly the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), has generally indicated that the answer to this question is yes. In fact, in 2015, almost…

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By Devin T. Driscoll. Full text here. This Note explores the creation of so-called problem-solving courts, including state drug courts and federal reentry courts, as well as the future of this kind of reform within the federal criminal justice system. It traces the development of problem-solving courts, beginning first with state drug courts in the…

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By Meirav Furth-Matzkin & Cass R. Sunstein. Full text here. Social norms have been used to nudge people toward specified outcomes in various domains. But can people be nudged to support, or to reject, proposed government policies? How do people’s views change when they learn that the majority approves of a particular policy, or that…

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By Jeremy W. Bock. Full text here. Existing proposals for enhancing predictability in patent claim interpretation focus primarily on the process of adjudication and doctrinal issues, while rarely delving into the underlying psychological and environmental factors that might influence different readers to interpret the same claim very differently. Drawing on lessons from behavioral economics and cognitive…

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