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Caution, Children Crossing: Heterogeneity of Victim's Cost of Care and the Negligence Rule

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  • Ganuza Juan-Jose

    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona)

  • Gomez Fernando

    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona)

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    Abstract

    The paper deals with a bilateral accident situation in which victims have heterogeneous costs of care. With perfect information, efficient care by the injurer raises with the victim's cost. When the injurer cannot observe at all the victim's type, and this fact can be verified by Courts, first-best cannot be implemented with the use of a negligence rule based on the first-best levels of care. Second-best leads the injurer to intermediate care, and the two types of victims to choose the best response to it. We explore in particular detail the more interesting case of imperfect observation of the victim's type, characterizing the optimal solution and examining the different legal alternatives when Courts cannot verify the injurers' statements. Counterintuitively, we show that there is no difference at all between the use by Courts of a rule of complete trust and a rule of complete distrust towards the injurers' statements. We then relate the findings of the model to existing rules and doctrines in Common Law and Civil Law legal systems.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Review of Law & Economics.

    Volume (Year): 1 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 3 (January)
    Pages: 365-397

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    Handle: RePEc:bpj:rlecon:v:1:y:2006:i:3:n:3

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    Web page: http://www.degruyter.com

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    References

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    1. Miceli, Thomas J & Segerson, Kathleen, 1995. "Defining Efficient Care: The Role of Income Distribution," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 189-208, January.
    2. Bull, Jesse & Watson, Joel, 2000. "Evidence Disclosure and Verifiability," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt6th0060j, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
    3. Emons, Winand, 1990. "Efficient liability rules for an economy with non-identical individuals," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 89-104, June.
    4. Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Hierarchies and Bureaucracies: On the Role of Collusion in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 181-214, Fall.
    5. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2000. "On the Joint Use of Liability and Safety Regulation," MPRA Paper 12536, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Sanchirico, Chris William, 2000. "Taxes versus Legal Rules as Instruments for Equity: A More Equitable View," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 797-820, June.
    7. Miceli, Thomas J., 1997. "Economics of the Law: Torts, Contracts, Property, Litigation," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195103908.
    8. Kaplow, Louis & Shavell, Steven, 2000. "Should Legal Rules Favor the Poor? Clarifying the Role of Legal Rules and the Income Tax in Redistributing Income," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 821-35, June.
    9. Villadsen, Bente, 1995. "Communication and delegation in collusive agencies," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 315-344, April.
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