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Cognitive coherence and tort reform

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  • Landeo, Claudia M.

Abstract

We experimentally study the effects of the split-award tort reform, where the state takes a share of the plaintiff's punitive damage award, on litigants' beliefs and bargaining outcomes. In addition, we study the formation of litigants' beliefs in a strategic environment. Our results provide support for coherence-based reasoning theories: coherence shifts in litigants' background beliefs (elicited before a role is assigned and after commitment to a choice at the pretrial bargaining stage) suggest bi-directionality between choices and beliefs. Our findings also suggest role-specific bias in the updating of plaintiffs' beliefs about firm's negligence. Finally, our findings indicate that split-awards affect plaintiffs' beliefs about fairness and lower out-of-court settlement amounts.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

Volume (Year): 30 (2009)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 898-912

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Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:30:y:2009:i:6:p:898-912

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

Related research

Keywords: Tort reform Belief formation Split-award statute Coherence-based reasoning Role-specific bias Self-serving bias Motivated reasoning Settlement Litigation Experiments Debiasing through law;

References

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  1. Cooper, David J. & Kagel, John H., 2003. "The impact of meaningful context on strategic play in signaling games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 311-337, March.
  2. Claudia M. Landeo & Maxim Nikitin & Scott Baker, 2007. "Deterrence, Lawsuits, and Litigation Outcomes Under Court Errors," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(1), pages 57-97, April.
  3. Claudia M. Landeo & Maxim Nikitin, 2006. "Split-Award Tort Reform, Firm's Level of Care, and Litigation Outcomes," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 162(4), pages 571-600, December.
  4. Landeo, Claudia M. & Nikitin, Maxim & Babcock, Linda, 2007. "Split-awards and disputes: An experimental study of a strategic model of litigation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 553-572, July.
  5. Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2003. "Found Money? Split-Award Statutes and Settlement of Punitive Damages Cases," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 134-164.
  6. Anat Bracha, 2004. "Affective Decision Making in Insurance Markets," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2665, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Sep 2004.
  7. Babcock, Linda & Farber, Henry S. & Fobian, Cynthia & Shafir, Eldar, 1995. "Forming beliefs about adjudicated outcomes: Perceptions of risk and reservation values," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 289-303, September.
  8. Babcock, Linda, et al, 1995. "Biased Judgments of Fairness in Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1337-43, December.
  9. Michelle J. White, 2004. "Asbestos and the Future of Mass Torts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 183-204, Spring.
  10. Loewenstein, George, et al, 1993. "Self-Serving Assessments of Fairness and Pretrial Bargaining," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 135-59, January.
  11. Christine Jolls & Cass R. Sunstein, 2006. "Debiasing through Law," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 199-242, 01.
  12. Loewenstein, George, 1999. "Experimental Economics from the Vantage-Point of Behavioural Economics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages F23-34, February.
  13. Babcock, Linda & Pogarsky, Greg, 1999. "Damage Caps and Settlement: A Behavioral Approach," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 341-70, June.
  14. Michelle J. White, 2004. "Asbestos and the Future of Mass Torts," NBER Working Papers 10308, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Babcock, Linda & Wang, Xianghong & Lowenstein, George, 1996. "Choosing the Wrong Pond: Social Comparisons in Negotiations That Reflect a Self-Serving Bias," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 1-19, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Landeo, Claudia & Spier, Kathryn, 2012. "It Takes Three to Tango: An Experimental Study of Contracts with Stipulated Damages," Working Papers 2012-14, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
  2. Landeo, Claudia & Nikitin, Maxim & Izmalkov, Sergei, 2012. "Playing against an Apparent Opponent: Incentives for Care, Litigation, and Damage Caps under Self-Serving Bias," Working Papers 2012-9, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.

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