Abdication and Federalism by Justin Weinstein-Tull :: SSRN

December 7, 2016

States abdicate many of their federal responsibilities to local governments. They do not monitor local compliance with those laws; they disclaim responsibility for the actions of their local governments; and they deny state officials the legal capacity to bring local governments into compliance. When sued for noncompliance with these federal laws, states attempt to evade responsibility by arguing that local governments — and not the state — are responsible. These arguments create serious and unexplored barriers to enforcing federal law. They present thorny issues of federalism and liability, and courts struggle with them. Because neither courts resolving these conflicts nor advocates litigating them are aware that abdication occurs regularly across a number of policy areas, courts have failed to develop a consistent methodology for addressing it. This Article argues that courts should reject these state arguments in most cases and outlines the contours of a “nonabdication doctrine” that would be less solicitous and accommodating of existing state laws and more attentive to the language of federal laws.

This Article is the first to uncover these state arguments and mark them as a pattern across a surprisingly diverse set of states and federal policies: indigent defense, election law, public assistance, conditions of incarceration, and others. It uses state filings — including archived documents — as well as interviews with numerous advocates and state officials, to explore the concept of state abdication. It posits that abdication is a consequence of superimposing federal responsibilities onto the diverse legal and political relationships between states and their local governments. It suggests that abdication provides a new lens through which to reassess previous thinking on localism, federalism, and decentralization. Because abdication permits states to shelter noncompliance with federal law at the local level and mutes productive local dissent, it reveals a failure of decentralizing federal policy that federalism scholars currently overlook.

Source: Abdication and Federalism by Justin Weinstein-Tull :: SSRN


Next Up: A Proposal for Values-Based Law Reform on Unilateral Withholding and Withdrawal of Potentially Life-Sustaining Treatment by Jocelyn Downie, Lindy Willmott, Ben White :: SSRN

December 7, 2016

As the legalization of assisted dying shifts from a project for law reform to one of implementation, the gaze for Canadian end of life law and policy academics and practitioners should be turned quickly to another pressing issue – the unilateral withholding and withdrawal of potentially life-sustaining treatment. What should happen when the health care team believes that treatment should not be provided and the patient’s loved ones believe that it should? While the future of end of life law and policy no doubt includes many other issues, this is an urgent and immediate horizon issue for Canada as well as a number of other countries (e.g., the United States, Australia, and New Zealand) and a more distant horizon (but inevitable) issue for many other countries as they move beyond the debate of whether to even withholding or withdrawal of potentially life-sustaining treatment (e.g., South Korea).

In this paper, we attempt to take a step back from the drama and vitriol surrounding conflict that can arise when the health care team believes that treatment should not be provided and the patient’s loved ones believe that it should. We suggest and model an approach to law and policy reform in this area. To that end, we begin with a review of what is known about what is going on in relation to unilateral withholding and withdrawal of treatment (without the consent or knowledge of the patient or patients substitute decision-maker) demonstrating that: it is happening; it is controversial; it is being challenged in courts; and it is not being approached by the law in the same way in every country (or indeed, even in the same way within a country). We then present a process for pursuing law reform, exploring Canada as a case study, to provide a model strategy for approaching law reform in other countries and to advance the project of law reform in Canada. To that end, we reflect on the fundamental values that should underpin a legal framework for decision-making on whether potentially life-sustaining treatment should be withheld or withdrawn. These values and the ways to balance these values against each other are drawn from the constitution, legislation, the common law, conventions and treaties that have been ratified by Canada,and “fundamental values of Canadian society” within which the ethical debate about the unilateral withholding and withdrawal of potentially life-sustaining treatment is situated. We then develop a proposal for how the law could be reformed such that it will more closely align with the fundamental values it is supposed to serve. We hope that in the end, this proposal might help us to move forward from friction to accord and, ultimately, to a future of better care for both the living and the dying.

Source: Next Up: A Proposal for Values-Based Law Reform on Unilateral Withholding and Withdrawal of Potentially Life-Sustaining Treatment by Jocelyn Downie, Lindy Willmott, Ben White :: SSRN


Updating Mechanism for Lifelong Insurance Contracts Subject to Medical Inflation by Michel Denuit, Jan Dhaene, Hamza Hanbali, Nathalie Lucas, Julien Trufin :: SSRN

December 7, 2016

This paper proposes a practical way for ex-post indexing of level premiums in lifelong medical insurance contracts, in order to take into account observed medical inflation. We show that ex-post indexing can be achieved by considering only premiums, without explicit reference to reserves. This appears to be relevant in practice as reserving mechanisms may not be transparent to policyholders and as some insurers do not compute contract-specific reserves, managing the whole portfolio in a collective way. The present study originates from a proposal for indexing lifelong medical insurance level premiums in Belgium. As an application, we study the impact of various indexing mechanisms on a typical medical insurance portfolio on the Belgian market.

Source: Updating Mechanism for Lifelong Insurance Contracts Subject to Medical Inflation by Michel Denuit, Jan Dhaene, Hamza Hanbali, Nathalie Lucas, Julien Trufin :: SSRN


The Effects of Unemployment Insurance Benefits: New Evidence and Interpretation by Johannes F. Schmieder, Till Von Wachter :: SSRN

December 7, 2016

The Great Recession has renewed interest in unemployment insurance (UI) programs around the world. At the same time, there have been important advances in both theory and measurement of UI. In this review, we first use the theory to present a unified treatment of the welfare effects of UI benefit levels and durations and derive convenient expressions of the full disincentive effect of UI. We then discuss recent estimates of the effect of UI benefit levels and durations on labor supply based on newly available administrative data and quasi-experimental research designs. Although our review of the new estimates confirms the range of negative labor supply effects of the previous literature, we show, based on the model, that these estimates are imperfect proxies for the actual disincentive effects. We also discuss several active areas of research on UI. These include the effect of UI on aggregate labor market outcomes, its effect on job outcomes, its long-term effects, its effects under nonstandard behavioral assumptions, and its interactions with other programs. We isolate several additional areas in need of further research, including estimates of the social value of UI, as well as the effects of UI in less developed countries.

Source: The Effects of Unemployment Insurance Benefits: New Evidence and Interpretation by Johannes F. Schmieder, Till Von Wachter :: SSRN


Health Care Spending: Historical Trends and New Directions by Alice Chen, Dana Goldman :: SSRN

December 7, 2016

Over the past five decades, broad changes in the US health care system have dramatically influenced growth in health care expenditures. This review identifies the salient factors driving the growth of medical expenditures and how they influenced the trajectory of health economics research. We find that the research identified — and was strongly influenced by — four eras of expenditure growth: period 1, coverage expansion; period 2, experimentation with financial incentives; period 3, the managed care backlash; and period 4, a golden era of declining expenditure growth. We conclude by discussing some themes from this research suggesting optimism that, going forward, we can curb excess expenditure growth above GDP growth without harming population health.

Source: Health Care Spending: Historical Trends and New Directions by Alice Chen, Dana Goldman :: SSRN


Family Economics Writ Large by Jeremy Greenwood, Nezih Guner, Guillaume Vandenbroucke :: SSRN

December 7, 2016

Powerful currents have reshaped the structure of families over the last century. There has been (i) a dramatic drop in fertility and greater parental investment in children; (ii) a rise in married female labor-force participation; (iii) a decline in marriage and a rise in divorce; (iv) a higher degree of assortative mating; (v) more children living with a single mother; (vi) shifts in social norms governing premarital sex and married women’s roles in the labor market. Macroeconomic models explaining these aggregate trends are surveyed. The relentless flow of technological progress and its role in shaping family life are stressed.

Source: Family Economics Writ Large by Jeremy Greenwood, Nezih Guner, Guillaume Vandenbroucke :: SSRN


Deep Recessions, Fast Recoveries, and Financial Crises: Evidence from the American Record by Michael D. Bordo, Joseph G. Haubrich :: SSRN

December 7, 2016

Do steep recoveries follow deep recessions? Does it matter if a credit crunch or banking panic accompanies the recession? We look at the American historical experience in an attempt to answer these questions. The answers depend on the definition of a financial crisis and on how much of the recovery is considered. But in general recessions associated with financial crises are followed by rapid recoveries. We find three exceptions to this pattern: the recovery from the Great Contraction in the 1930s, the recovery after the recession of the early 1990s, and the present recovery. The present recovery is strikingly more tepid than the 1990s. Possible factors to explain the slowness of this recovery include residential investment and policy uncertainty.

Source: Deep Recessions, Fast Recoveries, and Financial Crises: Evidence from the American Record by Michael D. Bordo, Joseph G. Haubrich :: SSRN