In this book, a distinguished group of scholars, attorneys, and judges examine the civil jury system and discuss whether certain features should be modified or reformed. The book features papers presented at a conference cosponsored by the Brookings Institution and the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association, together with an introductory chapter by Robert E. Litan. While the authors present competing views of the objectives of the civil jury system, all agree that the jury still has and will continue to have an important role in the American system of civil justice.
The book begins with a brief history of the jury system and explains how juries have become increasingly responsible for decisions of great difficulty. Contributors then provide an overview of the system's objectives and discuss whether, and to what extent, actual practice meets those objectives. They summarize how juries function and what attitudes lawyers, judges, litigants, former jurors, and the public at large hold about the current system.
The second half of the book is devoted to a wide range of recommendations that will both improve citizens' access to jury determinations and help resolve disputes in a more effective and efficient manner. Among their many suggestions, the authors call for changes in trial procedures and techniques that would improve the ability of jurors to understand the lay and evidence, a reduction in administrative costs and delays, and a change in they way juries are chosen. The authors also recommend shorter hours and more pay for jurors, greater flexibility in court schedules, and elimination of alternate jurors. In the final chapter the civil jury is considered in the broader context of how society resolves or manages civil disputes.
Robert E. Litan is a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution and vice president for research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation. Among his many books is Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and the Economics of Growth and Prosperity (Yale University Press, 2007), written with William J. Baumol and Carl J. Schramm.
This is a book about money as a medium of exchange—in the past, in the present, but particularly in the future. What forms has money taken over the years? Moreover, how have those means of payment changed in recent years, and how will they develop in the future? And what (if anything) should policymakers do to facilitate those changes, or at least allow them to develop and mature? Brookings economists Robert E. Litan and Martin Neil Baily and a distinguished group of experts dissect these issues and peer into the future of consumer payments.
The landscape of the consumer payments industry will be shaped at least in part by public policies. Historically, governments have had monopolies on the manufacture of money. Any form of payment clearly requires trust on the part of both the seller and the buyer, and the government must establish and enforce laws to secure this relationship. More controversial is the issue of whether, and to what extent, government is also needed to protect the market in private sector payments systems.
Why do these issues matter? The payments industry is a large and important sector of developed economies. In the United States, private-sector payments providers generate approximately $280 billion a year in revenue, while the government invests substantial resources into making money (minting coins and printing bills) or moving it (via checks and various electronic transfers). And the way we pay for things influences our purchases—what we spend money on, how much we spend, and where we spend it. Thus the future of consumer payments is intertwined with the health of national economies.
Contributors: Martin Neil Baily (Brookings), Thomas P. Brown (O'Melveny & Myers), Kenneth Chenault (American Express Company), Vijay D'Silva (McKinsey and Company), Nicholas Economides (New York University), David S. Evans (Market Platform Dynamics), Robert E. Litan (Brookings and Kaufmann Foundation), Drazen Prelec (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Richard Schmalensee (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Corporate financial reporting scandals in the United States and elsewhere in recent years, however, have called into question the sufficiency of the legal framework governing these gatekeepers. Policymakers have since responded by imposing a series of new obligations, restrictions, and punishments—all with the purpose of strengthening investor confidence in these important actors. F inancial Gatekeepers provides an in-depth look at these new frameworks, especially in the United States and Japan. How have they worked? Are further refinements appropriate? These are among the questions addressed in this timely and important volume. Contributors include Leslie Boni (University of New Mexico), Barry Bosworth (Brookings Institution), Tomoo Inoue (Seikei University), Zoe-Vonna Palmrose (University of Southern California), Frank Partnoy (University of San Diego School of Law), George Perry (Brookings Institution), Justin Pettit (UBS), Paul Stevens (Investment Company Institute), Peter Wallison (American Enterprise Institute)
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) outlines a variety of rules designed to ensure fairness. The United States, like other GATT signatories, has enacted statutes designed, for the most part, to be consistent with the GATT requirements.
In this book, Richard Boltuck and Robert E. Litan, joined by a team of attorneys and economists with direct experience in "unfair trade" practice investigations, provide the first study of how one of the U.S. governmental agencies charged with implementing the U.S. laws governing unfair trade—the Department of Commerce—has actually discharged its statutory mission. In particular, the book focuses on the antidumping and countervailing duty statutes, provisions allowing the United States to impose offsetting duties on imports that are sold here at prices below those charged by the producers in their home countries that benefit from subsidies provided by foreign governments to encourage exports. Although these provisions may have once been obscure parts of the U.S. trade laws, they have figured importantly in many recent celebrated trade disputes, including those involving the import of foreign-made semiconductors, steel, lumber, screen displays for laptop computers, word processors, and minivan vehicles.
All but one of the authors in the volume are highly critical of the procedures used by the Department of Commerce to calculate margins of dumping and export subsidization. Specifically, they find that at many points in the investigations, both through substantive and procedural requirements, there is a bias toward higher margins, and therefore higher import duties, than is warranted by economic theory; and in some cases by the GATT antidumping and subsidy codes themselves. Significantly, these authors contend that most of the biases can be removed without legislative change, but rather through changes in administrative practice.