1. Pulling the Goalie: Hockey and Investment Implications by Clifford S. Asness (AQR Capital Management) and Aaron Brown (LLC New York University (NYU) – Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences)
2. The Moral Hazard of Lifesaving Innovations: Naloxone Access, Opioid Abuse, and Crime by Jennifer L. Doleac (University of Virginia – Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy) and Anita Mukherjee (University of Wisconsin – Madison – School of Business)
A number of recent studies have provided one piece of bad news after another about how our efforts to reduce opioid-related mortality are failing. Our study is one more piece of bad news. The takeaway for practitioners and policymakers should be that the opioid epidemic has no easy solutions, and efforts like expanding naloxone access to help save the lives of those who overdose could unintendedly make the problem worse.
On a more positive note, we find that a higher density of substance abuse treatment centers can mitigate the negative effects of broadening naloxone access. This suggests that access to treatment is an important complement to increased naloxone access. -Jennifer Doleac and Anita Mukherjee
5. The Department of Education’s Obama-Era Initiative on Racial Disparities in School Discipline: Wrong For Students and Teachers, Wrong on the Law by Gail L. Heriot (University of San Diego School of Law) and Alison Somin (Independent
One of the Obama-era Department of Education’s most importanteducation initiatives was an effort to reduce what administrationofficials perceived to be the excessively high disciplinary rates ofAfrican-American, Hispanic, and Native American students relative tothose of other racial groups. Pursuant to this initiative, the ObamaDepartment of Education issued a detailed guidance letter in 2014 andopened up many investigations into school districts across the countrybased on disproportionate rates.From early on, problems stood out to us: what if the differences indiscipline rates reflected not racial bias or discrimination, butdifferences in rates of misbehavior? Wouldn’t then the new initiativejust make things worse by discouraging consequences for bad behavior?Unfortunately, as we discuss in the article, news reports indicatethat school districts that adopted the Department of Education’spreferred approach were indeed afflicted with increased classroomdisorder.We are also interested in the legal flaws of this initiative. TheDepartment of Education interpreted Title VI of the Civil Rights Actof 1964 as a “disparate impact” law — that is, banning educationalpractices that have an adverse effect on a particular racial group,even if this effect was unintended. For reasons we discuss in thepaper, Title VI was not intended as a true disparate impact statute,and federal agencies have only limited power to issue prophylacticdisparate impact regulations under Title VI. As Russlynn Ali, formerassistant secretary for the Department of Education observed,“Disparate impact is woven through all civil rights enforcement ofthis administration.” Our arguments about why this initiative wasunlawful have implications for civil rights law in a number of other
areas. – Alison Somin & Gail Heriot