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Rules of Proof, Courts, and Incentives

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  • Dominique Demougin
  • Claude Fluet

Abstract

We analyze the design of legal principles and procedures for court decision-making in civil litigation. The objective is the provision of appropriate incentives for potential tort-feasors to exert care, when evidence about care is imperfect and may be distorted by the parties. Efficiency is shown to be consistent with courts adjudicating on the basis of the preponderance of evidence standard of proof together with common law exclusionary rules. Inefficient equilibria may nevertheless also arise under these rules. Directing courts as to the assignment of the burden of proof is then useful as a coordination device. Alternatively, burden of proof guidelines are unnecessary if courts are allowed a more active or inquisitorial role, by contrast with that of passive adjudicator.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2007/wp-cesifo-2007-06/cesifo1_wp2014.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2014.

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Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2014

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Keywords: evidentiary rules; standard of proof; burden of proof; inquisitorial; adversarial; discovery; deterrence;

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References

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  1. Joseph Farrell & Matthew Rabin, 1996. "Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 103-118, Summer.
  2. Dan Bernhardt & Ed Nosal, 2003. "Nearsighted justice," Working Paper 0304, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  3. Daughety, Andrew F & Reinganum, Jennifer F, 2000. "On the Economics of Trials: Adversarial Process, Evidence, and Equilibrium Bias," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 365-94, October.
  4. Sandeep Baliga & Stephen Morris, 2000. "Coordination, Spillovers, and Cheap Talk," Discussion Papers 1301, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Demougin, Dominique & Fluet, Claude, 2006. "Preponderance of evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 963-976, May.
  6. Lewis, T. & Poitevin, M., 1994. "Disclosure of Information in regulatory Proceedings," Cahiers de recherche 9414, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  7. Bull, Jesse & Watson, Joel, 2000. "Evidence Disclosure and Verifiability," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt6th0060j, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  8. Schrag, Joel & Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1994. "Crime and Prejudice: The Use of Character Evidence in Criminal Trials," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 319-42, October.
  9. Claude Fluet, 2002. "Enforcing Contracts: Should Courts Seek the Truth?," CIRANO Working Papers 2002s-76, CIRANO.
  10. Henrik Lando, 2002. "When is the Preponderance of the Evidence Standard Optimal?," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(4), pages 602-608, October.
  11. Dominique Demougin & Claude Fluet, 2005. "Deterrence versus Judicial Error: A Comparative View of Standards of Proof," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 161(2), pages 193-, June.
  12. Hay, Bruce L & Spier, Kathryn E, 1997. "Burdens of Proof in Civil Litigation: An Economic Perspective," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 413-31, June.
  13. Antonio Bernardo & Eric L. Talley & Ivo Welch, 1999. "A Theory of Legal Presumptions," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm118, Yale School of Management.
  14. Block, Michael K. & Parker, Jeffrey S., 2004. "ecision making in the absence of successful fact finding: theory and experimental evidence on adversarial versus inquisitorial systems of adjudication," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 89-105, March.
  15. Parisi, Francesco, 2002. "Rent-seeking through litigation: adversarial and inquisitorial systems compared," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 193-216, August.
  16. Palumbo, Giuliana, 2001. "Trial procedures and optimal limits on proof-taking10," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 309-327, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Antonio Nicita & Matteo Rizzolli, 2013. "In Dubio Pro Reo. Behavioral explanations of pro-defendant bias in procedures," BEMPS - Bozen Economics & Management Paper Series BEMPS04, School of Economics and Management at the Free University of Bozen.
  2. Winand Emons & Claude Fluet, 2009. "Adversarial versus Inquisitorial Testimony," Diskussionsschriften dp0904, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  3. BOYER, Marcel & PORRINI, Donatella, 2010. "Optimal Liability Sharing and Court Errors : An Exploratory Analysis," Cahiers de recherche 05-2010, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  4. Giovanni Immordino & Michele Polo, 2012. "Antitrust in Innovative Industries: the Optimal Legal Standards," Working Papers 434, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  5. Cotton, Christopher, 2012. "Pay-to-play politics: Informational lobbying and contribution limits when money buys access," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 369-386.
  6. Hugo Mialon & Sue Mialon, 2008. "The Economics of Search Warrants," Emory Economics 0810, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  7. Bourjade, Sylvain & Rey, Patrick & Seabright, Paul, 2009. "Private Antitrust Enforcement in the Presence of Pre-Trial Bargaining," IDEI Working Papers 499, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  8. Boyer, Marcel & Porrini, Donatella, 2011. "The impact of court errors on liability sharing and safety regulation for environmental/industrial accidents," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 21-29, March.
  9. Christopher Cotton, 2010. "Pay-to-Play Politics: Informational lobbying and campaign finance reform when contributions buy access," Working Papers 2010-22, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  10. Bruno Deffains & Claude Fluet, 2013. "The Role of Social Image Concerns in the Design of Legal Regimes," Cahiers de recherche 1321, CIRPEE.

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