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Punitive Damages in Securities Arbitration: An Empirical Study

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  • Stephen J. Choi
  • Theodore Eisenberg
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    Abstract

    This article provides the first empirical analysis of punitive damages in securities arbitrations. Using a data set of over 6,800 securities arbitration awards, we find that claimants prevailed in 48.9 percent of arbitrations and that 9.1 percent of those claimant victories included a punitive damages award. The existence of a punitive damages award was associated with claims that suggested egregious misbehavior and with claims that provided higher compensatory awards. The pattern of punitive awards is more consistent with a traditional view of punitive damages that incorporates a retributive component than with a law and economics emphasis on efficient deterrence. We also report evidence that the relation between punitive and compensatory awards did not differ substantially between the securities arbitrators’ data and data on juries available from periodic Civil Justice Surveys by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

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    File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/10.1086/649601
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    File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/649601
    Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal The Journal of Legal Studies.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 497 - 546

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:doi:10.1086/649601

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    Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLS/

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    Cited by:
    1. Theodore Eisenberg & Christoph Engel, 2012. "Assuring Adequate Deterrence in Tort: A Public Good Experiment," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2012_07, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.

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