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Integrating Punishment and Efficiency Concerns in Punitive Damages for Reckless Disregard of Risks to Others

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  • Peter Diamond

Abstract

Justifications for the use of punitive damages refer to deterrence and punishment. After formulating a social welfare function that incorporates both economic efficiency and a desire for retribution, optimal punitive damages are considered to balance concerns for economic efficiency and for retribution. This optimal balancing is considered where compensatory damages alone provide the correct level of deterrence, allowing the ideal retribution to vary with the level of wealth and with the level of precaution. The analysis is extended to situations where some accidents do not result in liability. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization.

Volume (Year): 18 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 117-139

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:18:y:2002:i:1:p:117-139

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Cited by:
  1. Steven Shavell, 2005. "Liability for Accidents," NBER Working Papers 11781, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 2005. "The Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," NBER Working Papers 11780, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Luciana Echazu & Mark Frascatore, 2012. "Supply Chain Quality, Mandatory Insurance, and Recall Risk," International Journal of Business and Economics, College of Business, and College of Finance, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan, vol. 11(1), pages 1-11, June.
  4. Lando, Henrik, 2000. "The Optimal Standard of Proof in Criminal Law When Both Fairness and Deterrence Matter," Working Papers 2000-7, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Finance.

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