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I need help with my Law and Economics final! Someone please help-(Answered)

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I need help with my Law and Economics final! Someone please help


ECON 4100: Law & Economics

 

Take-home Final Exam

 

Spring 2016

 

DUE: Monday, May 2nd @ NOON (D2L Dropbox)

 

Instructions:

 

1. This is an open-book, open-notes exam, which means that you are allowed

 

to use any of the materials from class. You may also use your textbook or

 

the internet, where necessary. You may NOT, however, discuss this exam

 

with anyone else. If you have questions, please come see me or send me an

 

email. If you ask for (or receive) help from anyone other than me, your

 

score on this exam will automatically be zero.

 

2. You may type the exam or handwrite it. However you prepare the exam,

 

you must turn in the exam as a single document (.docx or PDF) that is in the

 

correct order.

 

3. For the ?short answer questions,? one of the most important components in

 

your score will be the quality of your answer. While this is NOT an essay

 

test, the purpose of these short answer questions is to provide you with a

 

way to demonstrate your understanding of the material. So, you should be

 

trying to give well-constructed, well-thought-out explanations (no single

 

sentence answers). Simply because your answer is factually correct does not

 

mean that you will earn full credit.

 

4. For questions that require calculation or filling in tables (such as question

 

#7), you need to show (write out) all of your calculations. Also, please do

 

your best to make sure the ?final answer? is easy to find.

 

5. The last page contains a bonus question. This question is worth up to 10

 

bonus points on this exam. Partial credit will be given.

 

6. Good luck! Do your best and have a great summer!!

 


 

SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS

 

Please answer the following questions thoroughly. Your explanation need not be long, but

 

should be complete! Your responses will be graded on quality AND correctness. Good luck!

 

1.

 


 

From an efficiency standpoint, economists are interested in determining the impact that

 

tort liability rules have on victim and injurer (?tort malfeasor?) precaution. Please

 

discuss the incentives for optimal precaution created by tort liability rules of (i) no

 

liability, (ii) strict liability, and (iii) simple negligence. What incentives does each create

 

for victims or injurers to engage in optimal precaution? (6 points)

 


 

2.

 


 

Academic researchers have noted damage awards have an ambiguous effect on the

 

number of lawsuits. In other words, increases in damage awards do not necessarily result

 

in increases in the lawsuits filed. Discuss the conflicting incentives/effects created by

 

increased damage awards that make the net effect uncertain. (6 points)

 


 

3.

 


 

In the legal process, one of the most important steps is the exchange of information

 

between the parties (plaintiff and defendant). We talked about two types of information

 

exchange: voluntary and involuntary. What is the difference between these two types of

 

information? What effect does each have on the likelihood of settlement? (6 points)

 


 

4.

 


 

Jane was injured in a car accident with Sally. In the accident, Sally?s car crashed into

 

Jane?s car. Jane has decided to sue Sally in order to recover damages for the accident

 

(which she believes was Sally?s fault). In order to a court to side for the plaintiff (Jane),

 

it must be shown that Sally was negligent. Suppose there were three things that Sally

 

could have done to avoid the accident: (i) drive slower, (ii) paid less attention to her cell

 

phone, and (iii) paid more attention to the other cars on the road. Suppose that the

 

probability of Sally being negligent in any one of those things is 0.3. In other words,

 

there is a 30% chance that Sally?s speed was negligent (i.e. too high). Would a court rule

 

that Sally was negligent in the accident? What is the probability that Sally was not

 

negligent in any of these areas? Be sure to show your work and fully explain your

 

answer. (6 points)

 


 

5.

 


 

Class action lawsuits have become increasingly popular in the past decade in tort claims

 

(i.e. ?mass torts?). From an efficiency standpoint, what are the potential benefits and

 

costs associated with the use of a class action lawsuit? When might a plaintiff or

 

defendant not want to make a claim into a class action? (6 points)

 


 

6.

 


 

Your parents live in a $1 million house on Belle Meade Boulevard. Your parents, to help

 

you get off to a good start in life, agree to sell you the house a year from now for $1 (one

 

dollar). Before the final closing date, the stock market tanks and wipes out your parents?

 

retirement savings. They can no longer afford to sell you the house for $1 and so they tear

 

up the contract. You take them to court for breach of contract. What does the court likely

 

say? Why? (6 points)

 


 

CALCULATION PROBLEMS

 


 

Please answer the following questions. For full credit, you should show and/or explain all

 

necessary calculations. Answers with no explanations or calculations will receive zero credit.

 

7.

 


 

(18 total points) Ross is walking across campus after taking his economics final exam.

 

Aaron is driving around campus looking for a parking spot. This creates a situation

 

where an accident might occur. In this question, we will look at each party?s precaution

 

in relation to various liability rules. Regardless of the liability rule, here are the ?facts?

 

you should use in answering the question (i.e. this information does not change):

 

Facts:

 

? If BOTH Aaron and Ross take precaution, then the probability of an accident is

 

0.1

 

? If ONLY ONE takes precaution (it does not matter which one), then there is a 0.2

 

probability of an accident

 

? If NEITHER take precaution, then there will be an accident (i.e. probability of

 

accident = 1)

 

? The cost of precaution is $20

 

? Ross suffers damages of $100 if there is an accident

 

a. No Liability. Assume that the tort rule is one of no liability. Use the information

 

above to fill in the expected payoff table below. Then find the Nash equilibrium

 

behavior for Ross and Aaron. (6 points)

 

Expected Payoffs

 

Ross (Pedestrian)

 

No Precaution

 

Precaution

 

No Precaution

 

Aaron (Driver)

 

Precaution

 


 

Note: Being the nice person that I am, let me ?help? you fill in one of the boxes so

 

that there is less confusion.

 

Upper Left (Aaron=No Precaution, Ross=No Precaution):

 

? Aaron does not spend money on precaution AND Aaron is not liable for any

 

damages caused by the accident so Aaron?s expected payoff is $0

 

? Ross does not spend any money on precaution BUT Ross is responsible for

 

any expected damages. Since neither party takes precaution, the probability

 

of an accident is 1. This means Ross? expected payoff is: cost of precaution +

 

expected damages = 0 + 1*(-100) = -100

 

b. Strict Liability. Assume that the tort rule is strict liability, which means that Aaron

 

is liable damages regardless of Aaron?s precaution level. Use this information to

 

update the expected payoffs in the table. What is the Nash equilibrium behavior for

 

Ross and Aaron? (6 points)

 

c. Simple Negligence Rule. Assume that the tort rule is a simple negligence rule,

 

which means that Aaron is liable for damages ONLY when Aaron does not use

 


 

precaution (i.e. when Aaron is negligent). Use this information to update the

 

expected payoffs table. What is the Nash equilibrium behavior for Ross and Aaron?

 

(6 points)

 

8.

 


 

(10 total points) Buyer B pays $10,000 to New Orleans grain dealer D in exchange for

 

D?s promise to deliver grain to B?s London office on October 1. As a result of signing

 

this contract, B decides not to sign a similar contract with another grain dealer for

 

$10,500. D will transport the grain to London via ship.

 

Buyer B agrees to resell the grain on arrival in London for $11,000 to another party. B

 

pays $100 in advance (nonrefundable) as docking and unloading fees for the ship?s

 

projected arrival in London.

 

The ship begins taking on water several days out of New Orleans and returns to port.

 

Inspection reveals that the grain is badly damaged by the salt water and is unsuitable to

 

sell.

 

a. What is the value of expectation damages for D?s breach of contract with B? (4

 

points)

 

b. What is the value of reliance damages for D?s breach of contract? (3 points)

 

c. What is the value of opportunity cost damages? (3 points)

 


 

9.

 


 

(12 total points) Situation: A union and a firm are bargaining over the wage (w) that will

 

be paid to the union?s L workers (assume that the number of workers is non-negotiable).

 

If there is an agreement, the firm will earn revenue of R. Their costs will simply be what

 

they pay to the workers (wL). If there is no agreement, then the firm is out of business

 

and they earn zero profits. If the firm goes out of business, the union workers will each

 

earn a wage of wu thanks to unemployment benefits. The purpose of this exercise is to

 

determine the wage that will result from Nash bargaining between the two parties (the

 

firm and the union). You do not have ?numbers? in this problem so your answers will

 

actually be mathematical functions.

 

a. What are the disagreement profits for the firm? And the union? What is the total

 

surplus?

 

b. What does each party get when an agreement is reached? What is the total surplus?

 

c. What is the cooperative surplus? (total surplus in #2 minus total surplus in #1)

 

d. If they split this surplus 50-50, how much does each party gain from agreement?

 

e. Using all the information from above, what is the agreed upon wage paid to the

 

workers?

 

f. Does the negotiated wage increase or decrease with the generosity of unemployment

 

benefits? (i.e. how does the agreed upon wage respond to an increase in wu?)

 

(2 points for each of the six questions)

 


 

10.

 


 

(12 total points) The diagram below shows an overview of the legal process for a

 

particular plaintiff. Use the values shown on the diagram (for example: discovery costs

 

$1,000, settlement costs $500, the probability of winning at trial is 0.4, etc.) to complete

 

the calculations below. Notice that the cost of trial is left as a variable (i.e. $C). As such,

 

you should expect that all of your answers below will be functions of this cost (i.e. you

 

will not get ?neat? answers for parts (a) through (c)).

 

$0

 

0.9

 

Appeal

 

-$500

 


 

Lose

 

Win

 


 

Trial

 

-$C

 


 

0.6

 

Lose

 


 

Settle or

 

exchange

 

info

 


 

$5,000

 


 

Win

 


 

0.3

 

Bargain

 


 

0.1

 


 

Don?t settle

 


 

0.4

 


 

$5,000

 


 

Settle (-$500)

 


 

0.3

 

Discovery

 

(-$1,000)

 


 

0.7

 


 

File -$500

 


 

Settle (-$500)

 


 

Sue

 


 

0.7

 


 

$4,000

 


 

$4,000

 


 

Don?t file

 

$0

 


 

a.

 

b.

 

c.

 

d.

 


 

11.

 


 

What is the expected value of appeal (EVA)? (3 points)

 

What is the expected value of trial (EVT)? (3 points)

 

What is the expected value of bargaining for settlement (EVB)? (3 points)

 

What is the expected value of the claim? If it costs $500 to file a claim, how high

 

would trial costs need to be in order for it to be optimal not to file the claim? (3

 

points)

 


 

In order to make the Apple iPad?s display more visible in direct sunlight, Apple has

 

updated the technology behind the iPad?s display. Amazon believes that Apple?s new

 

display infringes upon patents that they hold for the Kindle. Amazon has retained your

 

services in order to estimate how much value consumers place on the feature that allows

 

the iPad to be viewed in direct daylight (we will call this feature DayView). In order to

 

accomplish this task, you have decided to conduct a conjoint study ? mimicking the study

 

conducted by John Hauser in the Apple-Samsung case discussed in class.

 

The table below shows the recoded partworth utilities that were obtained from your

 

regression analysis (the coefficients from a regression are used to create these values).

 

Your conjoint analysis measured consumer valuation of several different features of

 

tablets/e-readers: (1) Price, (2) Screen size, (3) Weight, and (4) DayView.

 


 

Feature:

 

Screen size

 

9.7 inch

 

8.9 inch

 

Weight

 

374 grams

 

478 grams

 

DayView

 

Visible in direct sunlight

 

Regular display

 

Price

 

$399

 

$299

 

$199

 


 

Utility

 

Partworths

 

11.63

 

0

 

19.21

 

0

 

6.89

 

0

 

0

 

32.55

 

59.26

 


 

Using the results from your study, how much is the ability to view a tablet/e-reader worth

 

to the average consumer? If you multiply this number by the total number of iPads sold,

 

this would give you a grand total dollar value on damages. What are some possible

 

criticisms of such an approach to damages calculation? (10 points)

 


 

BONUS QUESTION

 

Instructions: This question would have been a homework assignment ? but I decided it would

 

be better to give you more time to work on your group research project. I think it?s still a useful

 

exercise, so I am giving you the ?opportunity? to work on the problem?but for extra credit.

 

In the exam instructions, I asked you to turn in a single document. If you attempt this extra

 

credit, you will need to include one additional file. Your ?write-up? that describes the final

 

damage calculations and any assumptions made in order to produce this estimate can be included

 

in your file exam document. In addition to this, you should submit (via the D2L dropbox) an

 

Excel spreadsheet that shows all steps made in calculating the damages estimate.

 

Facts of the case: April Buchanon is the owner of a popular restaurant. She is currently the only

 

?employee? of the restaurant (i.e. she cooks, she serves the customers, etc.). On January 1, 2014,

 

Ms. Buchanon was struck by a negligent driver. The accident left her paralyzed. Because of the

 

severity of the injury, and her irreplaceable role in the success of her restaurant, she has been

 

forced to close her restaurant. Restaurant profits have been growing since its opening in 2003.

 

The table below shows the restaurants profits since opening:

 

Year

 

2003

 

2004

 

2005

 

2006

 

2007

 

2008

 

2009

 

2010

 

2011

 

2012

 

2013

 


 

Restaurant Profits

 

$75,000

 

$76,984

 

$84,320

 

$89,118

 

$94,673

 

$97,958

 

$116,224

 

$117,257

 

$118,312

 

$130,983

 

$135,415

 


 

Note that 2014 begins the first year of losses due to the accident (and closure of the restaurant).

 

In the year 2014, Ms. Buchanon has incurred hospital expenses of $150,000. In addition, her

 

injury requires 24-hour nursing care for the remainder of her life. This nursing care costs

 

$50,000 a year.

 

I would like you to produce two sets of damage estimates for this case. For the first estimate,

 

assume that Ms. Buchanon?s annual lost income (going forward) is equal to her income in 2013.

 

For the second estimate, I would like you to use the technique of your choice to ?forecast? Ms.

 

Buchanon?s future lost (annual) income.

 

Please use the following assumptions:

 


 

?

 

?

 

?

 

?

 

?

 


 

Assume that you are completing this estimate on January 1, 2015 (so that you are certain

 

of the hospital and nursing costs I mentioned for 2014). At the time of your report, Ms.

 

Buchanon is still alive.

 

Assume that on January 1, 2014 (the date of the accident), it was Ms. Buchanon?s 45th

 

birthday. Further assume that Ms. Buchanon would retire at age 65 (if no accident)

 

For simplicity, let?s also assume that the nurse care payments also end at age 65

 

(Medicare could cover nursing costs once she qualifies for Medicare)

 

You are interested in the net present value of these future damages (as we did in class)

 

Please ignore any ?extra? damages, such as retirement savings, insurance premiums,

 

quality of life, etc. and simply focus on the information provided in the question.

 


 

 

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