Chilling Effects from Anti-SLAPP Laws

42 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2022

See all articles by Brandon Schaufele

Brandon Schaufele

University of Western Ontario - Richard Ivey School of Business

Date Written: March 7, 2022

Abstract

Anti-SLAPP legislation has proliferated across the US and Canada. SLAPPs are ``strategic lawsuits against public participation", private claims whose objective is to chill opposition by limiting parties' ability to participate in public debate. SLAPPs involve a complementarity between a private harm, typically the tort of defamation, and an extra-judicial project, often a real estate development. This paper incorporates SLAPPS into a standard model of frivolous litigation, demonstrating that the economic implications of SLAPPs are narrower than frequently portrayed. The paper then applies a staggered adoption difference-in-differences research design to empirically estimate the chilling effects of anti-SLAPP laws on construction investment and new home starts in Canada. Results demonstrate that anti-SLAPP laws do chill construction investment by roughly $80 million per month within Canadian cities. New starts of single family homes also decline by 120 per month relative to a counterfactual scenario where anti-SLAPP laws do not exist.

Keywords: Anti-SLAPP laws, chilling effects, civil procedure, frivolous lawsuits, real estate development, tort

JEL Classification: K41, K15, R39

Suggested Citation

Schaufele, Brandon, Chilling Effects from Anti-SLAPP Laws (March 7, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4051970 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4051970

Brandon Schaufele (Contact Author)

University of Western Ontario - Richard Ivey School of Business ( email )

1151 Richmond Street North
London, Ontario N6A 3K7
Canada

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Downloads
363
Abstract Views
1,046
Rank
151,887
PlumX Metrics