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  • Author or Editor: John A. Dove x
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A large body of literature has emerged regarding the proper role and scope of state level merger oversight and enforcement in the U.S., handled by each states respective attorney general (AG). Much of it suggests that due to the set of incentives and constraints that state AGs face, state level enforcement has become much more politicized and arbitrary as compared to federal enforcement. Although numerous studies have provided ample anecdotal evidence, none of these studies have formally tested what actually impacts state merger reviews. Therefore, by employing a dataset of state merger review cases between 1998 and 2010 this paper attempts to empirically test and examine the political incentives surrounding a state AGs decision to review a potential merger. Overall, I do find evidence that electoral aspirations and campaign contributions have a relatively limited but robust impact, while cases involving Fortune 500 companies, as well as multiple states pursuing die same case have a much more profound impact on a state AG’s decision to scrutinize a merger.

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This study assesses how perceptions about the quality of legal institutions affect entrepreneurial activity across US states. We employ survey data from the US Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform regarding both the overall perceived institutional quality within a state and a multitude of subcategories. With a panel data set covering 2002–08, we find that along with overall legal quality, entrepreneurial activity across states is positively correlated with better perceptions about punitive damages, summary judgment, rules of discovery and admission of scientific and technical evidence at trial. Interestingly, interacting these variables with economic freedom typically generates non-results, though this is not the case when considering only opportunity entrepreneurship. Implications are discussed.

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