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Comparative Vigilance

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  • Ram Singh

    ()

  • Allan M. Feldman

    ()

Abstract

A growing body of literature suggests that courts and juries are inclined toward division of liability between two strictly non-negligent or “vigilant†parties. However, standard models of liability rules do not provide for vigilance-based sharing of liability. In this paper, we explore the economic efficiency of liability rules based on comparative vigilance. We devise rules that are efficient and that reward vigilance. It is commonly believed that discontinuous liability shares are necessary for efficiency. However we develop a liability rule, which we call the “super-symmetric rule,†that is both efficient and continuous, that is based on comparative negligence when both parties are negligent and on comparative vigilance when both parties are vigilant, and that is always responsive to increased care. Moreover, our super-symmetric rule divides accident losses into two parts: one part creates incentives for efficiency; the other part provides equity. [Working Paper No. 173]

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Paper provided by eSocialSciences in its series Working Papers with number id:2682.

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Date of creation: Jul 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:2682

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Keywords: Comparative vigilance; equity; economic efficiency; tort liability rules; Nash equilibrium; social costs; pure comparative vigilance; super-symmetric rule;

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References

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  1. Ram Singh & Allan M. Feldman, 2010. "Comparative Vigilance," Working Papers id:2682, eSocialSciences.
  2. Miceli, Thomas J., 1997. "Economics of the Law: Torts, Contracts, Property, Litigation," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780195103908, October.
  3. Yu-Ping Liao & Michelle J. White, 2002. "No-Fault for Motor Vehicles: An Economic Analysis," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 258-294.
  4. Ram Singh, 2006. "On the Existence and Efficiency of Equilibria under Liability Rules," Working papers, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics 150, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  5. Francesco Parisi, 2004. "Comparative Causation," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 345-368.
  6. Marks, Stephen, 1994. "Discontinuities, Causation, and Grady's Uncertainty Theorem," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 287-301, January.
  7. Lowe, Vaughan, 2007. "International Law," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780199268849, October.
  8. Kahan, Marcel, 1989. "Causation and Incentives to Take Care under the Negligence Rule," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 427-47, June.
  9. Feldman, Allan M. & Frost, John M., 1998. "A simple model of efficient tort liability rules," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 201-215, June.
  10. Rea, Samuel Jr., 1987. "The economics of comparative negligence," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 149-162, December.
  11. Miceli, Thomas J., 1996. "Cause in fact, proximate cause, and the hand rule: Extending Grady's positive economic theory of negligence," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 473-482, December.
  12. Allan M. Feldman & Jeonghyun Kim, 2002. "The Hand Rule and United States v. Carroll Towing Co. Reconsidered," Working Papers 2002-27, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  13. P. A. Diamond, 1973. "Single Activity Accidents," Working papers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics 113, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  14. Allan M. Feldman & Jeonghyun Kim, 2005. "The Hand Rule and United States v. Carroll Towing Co. Reconsidered," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 523-543.
  15. Kaplow, Louis, 1995. "A Model of the Optimal Complexity of Legal Rules," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 150-63, April.
  16. Oren Bar-Gill & Omri Ben-Shahar, 2003. "The Uneasy Case for Comparative Negligence," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 433-469, August.
  17. Jeonghyun Kim, 2004. "A Complete Characterization of Efficient Liability Rules: Comment," Journal of Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 81(1), pages 61-75, 01.
  18. Kim, Jeonghyun & Feldman, Allan M., 2006. "Victim or injurer, small car or SUV: Tort liability rules under role-type uncertainty," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 455-477, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Parisi Francesco & Singh Ram, 2010. "The Efficiency of Comparative Causation," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 219-245, September.
  2. Allan M Feldman & Ram Singh, 2008. "Comparative Vigilance," Working Papers 2008-9, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  3. FRANCESCO PARISI & Ram Singh, 2009. "Efficiency Of Equilibria Under Comparative Causation," Working papers, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics 179, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  4. Allan M Feldman & Ram Singh, 2008. "Comparative Vigilance: a Simple Guide," Working Papers 2008-11, Brown University, Department of Economics.

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