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The Predictability of Punitive Damages

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  • Eisenberg, Theodore, et al

Abstract

Using one year of jury trial outcomes from 45 of the nation's most populous counties, this article shows a strong and statistically significant correlation between compensatory and punitive damages. These findings are replicated in 25 years of punitive damages awards from Cook County, Illinois, and California. In addition, we find no evidence that punitive damages awards are more likely when individuals sue businesses than when individuals sue individuals. With respect to award frequency, juries rarely award punitive damages and appear to be especially reluctant to do so in the areas of law that have captured the most attention, products liability and medical malpractice. Punitive damages are most frequently awarded in business/contract cases and intentional tort cases. The frequency-of-award findings are consistent with all major studies of punitive damages. Coauthors are John Goerdt, Brian Ostrom, David Rottman, and Martin T. Wells. Copyright 1997 by the University of Chicago.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 26 (1997)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 623-61

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:26:y:1997:i:2:p:623-61

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

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Cited by:
  1. Alison F. Del Rossi & W. Kip Viscusi, 2009. "The Changing Landscape of Blockbuster Punitive Damages Awards," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 116-161.
  2. Thomas J. Miceli & Michael P. Stone, 2013. "The Determinants Of State-Level Caps On Punitive Damages: Theory And Evidence," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(1), pages 110-125, 01.
  3. Michelle J. White, 2002. "Explaining the Flood of Asbestos Litigation: Consolidation, Bifurcation, and Bouquet Trials," NBER Working Papers 9362, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Lakdawalla, Darius N. & Seabury, Seth A., 2012. "The welfare effects of medical malpractice liability," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 356-369.
  5. Thomas A. Eaton & David B. Mustard & Susette M. Talarico, 2005. "Punitive Damages and the Processing of Tort Claims," Law and Economics 0501002, EconWPA.
  6. Brooks Kaiser & Kimberly Burnett, 2010. "Spatial Economic Analysis of Early Detection and Rapid Response Strategies for an Invasive Species," Working Papers 2010-05, University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
  7. Darius N. Lakdawalla & Seth A. Seabury, 2009. "The Welfare Effects of Medical Malpractice Liability," NBER Working Papers 15383, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Cooter, Robert D., 1999. "Punitive Damages, Social Norms, and Economic Analysis," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt7h38w307, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  9. Daniel P. Kessler & Daniel L. Rubinfeld, 2004. "Empirical Study of the Civil Justice System," NBER Working Papers 10825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Steven Shavell, 2005. "Liability for Accidents," NBER Working Papers 11781, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. repec:fth:prinin:418 is not listed on IDEAS

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