Weekly Top 5 Papers – March 26, 2018

1. Splitsylvania: State Secession and What to Do About It by Glenn Harlan Reynolds (University of Tennessee College of Law)

Lately I’ve been thinking about some of the Constitution’s more obscure provisions, like the Guaranty Clause and Art. IV sec. 3’s provision for creating new states out of parts of existing ones.  Most recently, I was thinking about these provisions in the context of the new state-secession movements that are springing up, in which (typically rural and less prosperous) parts of states politically dominated by large urban areas want to break off and go on their own.

My paper looks at these movements, the complaints that animate them, and their likelihood of success, and suggests some fairly modest changes at the federal and state level that would take most of the steam out of movements for intra-state secession.  While states can split from existing states — look at West Virginia, Maine, or even Tennessee — it’s unusual and difficult.  But addressing the causes of rural unhappiness looks to be (comparatively) easy, if Congress is willing to do so.

I’m gratified that this piece, yet unpublished except on SSRN, has already garnered significant media attention, both on print and in several radio interviews I’ve been asked to do.  SSRN is a good platform for getting noticed!

Here’s the link:  http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/03/19/are-some-states-headed-for-splitsville-movement-grows-to-allow-sections-states-to-break-away.html– Glenn Harlan Reynolds

2. Equity Risk Premiums (ERP): Determinants, Estimation and Implications – The 2018 Edition by Aswath Damodaran (New York University – Stern School of Business)

3. 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

4. Big Other: Surveillance Capitalism and the Prospects of an Information Civilization by Shoshana Zuboff (Berkman Center for Internet & Society)

5. Universal Features of Price Formation in Financial Markets: Perspectives From Deep Learning by Justin Sirignano (Imperial College London – Department of Mathematics) and Rama Cont (Imperial College London)