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A Damage-Revelation Rationale for Coupon Remedies

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  • Polinsky, A. Mitchell
  • Rubinfeld, Daniel L.
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    Abstract

    This article studies optimal remedies in a setting in which damages vary among plaintiffs and are difficult to determine. We show that giving plaintiffs a choice between coupons to purchase units of the defendant’s product at a discount and cash — a coupon-cash remedy — is superior to cash alone. The optimal coupon-cash remedy offers a cash amount that is less than the value of the coupons to plaintiffs who suffer relatively high harm. Such a remedy induces these plaintiffs to choose coupons, and plaintiffs who suffer relatively low harm to choose cash. Sorting plaintiffs in this way leads to better deterrence because the costs borne by defendants (the cash payments and the cost of providing coupons) more closely approximate the harms that they have caused.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics in its series Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt15d402t1.

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    Date of creation: 01 Mar 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:cdl:oplwec:qt15d402t1

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    1. Kaplow, Louis & Shavell, Steven, 1996. "Accuracy in the Assessment of Damages," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(1), pages 191-210, April.
    2. Borenstein, Severin, 1996. "Settling for Coupons: Discount Contracts as Compensation and Punishment in Antitrust Lawsuits," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(2), pages 379-404, October.
    3. Polinsky, A. Mitchell & Rubinfeld, Daniel L., 2006. "The Deadweight Loss of Coupon Remedies for Price Overcharges," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt6943s2kd, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    4. Spier, Kathryn E, 1994. "Settlement Bargaining and the Design of Damage Awards," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 84-95, April.
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    Cited by:
    1. Polinsky, A. Mitchell & Rubinfeld, Daniel L., 2006. "The Deadweight Loss of Coupon Remedies for Price Overcharges," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt6943s2kd, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.

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