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Comparative Vigilance

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  • Allan M. Feldman
  • Ram Singh

Abstract

A growing body of literature suggests that courts and juries are inclined toward division of liability between two strictly non-negligent or "vigilant" parties. In this paper, we explore the economic efficiency of liability rules based on comparative vigilance. We devise rules that are efficient and that reward vigilance. Commonly used liability rules have discontinuous liability shares. We develop a liability rule, which we call the "super-symmetric rule," that is both efficient and continuous, that is based on comparative negligence when both parties are negligent and on comparative vigilance when both parties are vigilant, and that is always responsive to increased care. Copyright 2009, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal American Law and Economics Review.

Volume (Year): 11 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 134-161

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Handle: RePEc:oup:amlawe:v:11:y:2009:i:1:p:134-161

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References

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  1. Feldman, Allan M. & Frost, John M., 1998. "A simple model of efficient tort liability rules," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 201-215, June.
  2. Kahan, Marcel, 1989. "Causation and Incentives to Take Care under the Negligence Rule," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 427-47, June.
  3. Oren Bar-Gill & Omri Ben-Shahar, 2003. "The Uneasy Case for Comparative Negligence," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 433-469, August.
  4. Jeonghyun Kim, 2004. "A Complete Characterization of Efficient Liability Rules: Comment," Journal of Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 81(1), pages 61-75, 01.
  5. Allan M Feldman & Ram Singh, 2008. "Comparative Vigilance," Working Papers 2008-9, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  6. Allan M. Feldman & Jeonghyun Kim, 2002. "The Hand Rule and United States v. Carroll Towing Co. Reconsidered," Working Papers 2002-27, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  7. Francesco Parisi, 2004. "Comparative Causation," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 345-368.
  8. Miceli, Thomas J., 1996. "Cause in fact, proximate cause, and the hand rule: Extending Grady's positive economic theory of negligence," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 473-482, December.
  9. Allan M. Feldman & Jeonghyun Kim, 2005. "The Hand Rule and United States v. Carroll Towing Co. Reconsidered," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 523-543.
  10. Miceli, Thomas J., 1997. "Economics of the Law: Torts, Contracts, Property, Litigation," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780195103908, October.
  11. Kaplow, Louis, 1995. "A Model of the Optimal Complexity of Legal Rules," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 150-63, April.
  12. Ram Singh, 2008. "On The Existence and Efficiency of Equilibria Under Liability Rules," Working Papers id:1716, eSocialSciences.
  13. Kim, Jeonghyun & Feldman, Allan M., 2006. "Victim or injurer, small car or SUV: Tort liability rules under role-type uncertainty," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 455-477, December.
  14. Yu-Ping Liao & Michelle J. White, 2002. "No-Fault for Motor Vehicles: An Economic Analysis," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 258-294.
  15. Lowe, Vaughan, 2007. "International Law," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780199268849, October.
  16. Peter A. Diamond, 1974. "Single Activity Accidents," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 107-164, January.
  17. Rea, Samuel Jr., 1987. "The economics of comparative negligence," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 149-162, December.
  18. Marks, Stephen, 1994. "Discontinuities, Causation, and Grady's Uncertainty Theorem," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 287-301, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Allan M Feldman & Ram Singh, 2008. "Comparative Vigilance," Working Papers 2008-9, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Ram Singh & Francesco Parisi, 2010. "The Efficiency Of Comparative Causation," Working Papers id:2681, eSocialSciences.
  3. FRANCESCO PARISI & Ram Singh, 2009. "Efficiency Of Equilibria Under Comparative Causation," Working papers 179, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  4. Allan M Feldman & Ram Singh, 2008. "Comparative Vigilance: a Simple Guide," Working Papers 2008-11, Brown University, Department of Economics.

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