Accuracy in the Assessment of Damages
AbstractAssessment of damages is a principal issue in litigation and, in light of this, we consider the social justification for, and the private benefits of, accurate measurement of harm. Greater accuracy induces injurers to exercise levels of precaution that better reflect the magnitude of the harm they are likely to generate, and, relatedly, it stimulates uninformed injurers to learn about risks before acting. However, accuracy in assessment of harm cannot influence the behavior of injurers--and is therefore of no social value--to the degree that they lack knowledge of the harm they might cause when deciding on their precautions. Regardless of the social value of accuracy, litigants generally gain by devoting resources toward proof of damages, leading often to socially excessive private incentives to establish damages. Copyright 1996 by the University of Chicago.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Law & Economics.
Volume (Year): 39 (1996)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/
Other versions of this item:
- K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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"Accuracy in the Determination of Liability,"
NBER Working Papers
4203, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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"Private versus Socially Optimal Provision of Ex Ante Legal Advice,"
Journal of Law, Economics and Organization,
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- Png, I. P. L., 1986. "Optimal subsidies and damages in the presence of judicial error," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 101-105, June.
- Steven Shavell, 2003.
"Economic Analysis of Accident Law,"
NBER Working Papers
9694, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Daniel L. Rubinfeld & David E.M. Sappington, 1987. "Efficient Awards and Standards of Proof in Judicial Proceedings," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(2), pages 308-315, Summer.
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