Rule of Law

Why U.S. GDP Growth Stays in the Cellar

While how we tax, spend and participate in the global economy surely matters, we know that future GDP growth, wages, salaries, improved healthcare and even paying college tuition depend on improvements in labor productivity. Let’s face it: If all of us hope to get more stuff, we will just have to produce more stuff.

“Agency Threats” and the Rule of Law: An Offer You Can’t Refuse

Scholars and practitioners have documented how regulatory agencies have increasingly relied on guidance, best-practice documents, policy statements, and other informal pronouncements to achieve regulatory ends. Agencies often do so to avoid executive regulatory review and other accountability measures that ostensibly slow the regulatory process. This paper adds to this growing literature to incorporate policymaking through the issuance of completely unenforceable threats.

Race, Politics, and Punishment

This paper empirically evaluates two competing theories of electoral accountability in the context of New Orleans’ 2006 mayoral election. According to the democratic efficiency theory, voters can successfully punish ineffective political agents by removing them from office. In contrast, the public choice theory argues that the bundled nature of political goods prevents voters from successfully holding ineffective politicians accountable.

Trial By Battle

For over a century England's judicial system decided land disputes by ordering disputants' legal representatives to bludgeon one another before an arena of spectating citizens. The victor won the property right for his principal. The vanquished lost his cause and, if he were unlucky, his life. People called these combats trials by battle. This paper investigates the law and economics of trial by battle.