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Liability rules under evidentiary uncertainty

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  • Fluet, Claude

Abstract

This paper characterizes the efficient evidentiary thresholds for establishing negligence when courts have imperfect evidence about care. An evidentiary threshold refers to the "weight of evidence", given the risk of error, for ruling that a party was at fault and differs from the substantive due care standard that the party should meet. I show that efficient evidentiary thresholds differ between liability rules and are therefore inconsistent with a general invariant standard of proof. In particular, they require a greater "weight of evidence" than the common law standard of the preponderance of evidence, which tends to induce overcompliance.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Review of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 30 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 1-9

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Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:30:y:2010:i:1:p:1-9

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/irle

Related research

Keywords: Contributory negligence Comparative negligence Moral hazard Standard of proof Punitive damages;

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References

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  1. Bernardo, Antonio E & Talley, Eric & Welch, Ivo, 2000. "A Theory of Legal Presumptions," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 1-49, April.
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  3. Dominique Demougin & Claude Fluet, 1998. "Ranking of Information Systems in Agency Models: An Integral Condition," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 70, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  4. Dominique Demougin & Claude Fluet, 2002. "Preponderance of Evidence," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 150, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  5. Sanchirico, Chris William, 1997. "The burden of proof in civil litigation: A simple model of mechanism design," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 431-447, September.
  6. Claude Fluet, 2003. "Enforcing Contracts: Should Courts Seek the Truth?," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 159(1), pages 49-, March.
  7. Kolstad, Charles D & Ulen, Thomas S & Johnson, Gary V, 1990. "Ex Post Liability for Harm vs. Ex Ante Safety Regulation: Substitutes or Complements?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 888-901, September.
  8. Daniel P. Kessler & Mark McClellan, 1996. "Do Doctors Practice Defensive Medicine?," NBER Working Papers 5466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Claude Fluet, 1998. "Régulation des risques et insolvabilité: le rôle de la responsabilité pour faute en information imparfaite," Cahiers de recherche du Département des sciences économiques, UQAM 9802, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
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  14. Demougin, Dominique & Fluet, Claude, 2001. "Monitoring versus incentives," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1741-1764, October.
  15. Peter A. Diamond, 1974. "Single Activity Accidents," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 107-164, January.
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  17. Polinsky, A Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1989. "Legal Error, Litigation, and the Incentive to Obey the Law," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 99-108, Spring.
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  19. Steven Shavell, 2003. "Economic Analysis of Accident Law," NBER Working Papers 9483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Aaron S. Edlin., 1993. "Efficient Standards of Due Care: Should Courts Find More Parties Negligent Under Comparative Negligence?," Economics Working Papers 93-218, University of California at Berkeley.
  21. Kim, Son Ku, 1995. "Efficiency of an Information System in an Agency Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 89-102, January.
  22. Dominique Demougin & Claude Fluet, 2005. "Deterrence versus Judicial Error: A Comparative View of Standards of Proof," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 161(2), pages 193-, June.
  23. Hay, Bruce L & Spier, Kathryn E, 1997. "Burdens of Proof in Civil Litigation: An Economic Perspective," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 413-31, June.
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  25. Shavell, Steven, 2007. "Liability for Accidents," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Marie-Cécile Fagart & Claude Fluet, 2007. "Liability Insurance under the Negligence Rule," Cahiers de recherche 0730, CIRPEE.
  2. Boyer, Marcel & Porrini, Donatella, 2011. "The impact of court errors on liability sharing and safety regulation for environmental/industrial accidents," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 21-29, March.
  3. Julien Jacob, 2011. "Innovation and diffusion in risky industries under liability law: the case of “double-impact” innovations," Working Papers of BETA 2011-24, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.

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