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The Equivalence of Strict Liability and Negligence Rule: A « Trompe l'œil » Perspective

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  • Gérard Mondello

    (University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, CREDECO, GREDEG, UMR 7321, CNRS)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the difficulties of comparing the respective effectiveness of two among the most important liability regimes in tort law: rule of negligence and strict liability. Starting from the standard Shavellian unilateral accident scheme, I show that matching up liability regime on their capacity to provide the highest level of safety is ineffective. This demonstration lies on two components. The first one gathers some results drawn from literature that introduces uncertainty. The second one takes into consideration the beliefs of agents and their aversion to ambiguity. The model applies uncertainty to the level of maximum damage. This demonstration reinforces the previous result. Hence, both regimes apply on specific tort question and comparing their individual efficiency needs to call for other components as the transaction costs associated to the burden of evidence, the fairness between victims and injurers, etc.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2012.08.

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Date of creation: Feb 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2012.08

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Keywords: Strict Liability; Negligence Rule; Ambiguity Theory; Uncertainty; Accident Model;

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  1. Steven Shavell, 1982. "On Liability and Insurance," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(1), pages 120-132, Spring.
  2. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Shavell, Steven, 1985. "Uncertainty over Causation and the Determination of Civil Liability," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(3), pages 587-609, October.
  4. Dominique Demougin & Claude Fluet, 1998. "A Further Justification for the Negligence Rule," Cahiers de recherche du Département des sciences économiques, UQAM 9801, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
  5. Chateauneuf, Alain & Eichberger, Jürgen & Grant, Simon, 2003. "Choice under Uncertainty with the Best and Worst in Mind: Neo-additive Capacities," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 03-10, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  6. Mohammed Abdellaoui, 2000. "Parameter-Free Elicitation of Utility and Probability Weighting Functions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(11), pages 1497-1512, November.
  7. T. Randolph Beard, 1990. "Bankruptcy and Care Choice," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(4), pages 626-634, Winter.
  8. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2000. "On the joint use of liability and safety regulation," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 371-382, September.
  9. Joshua C. Teitelbaum, 2007. "A Unilateral Accident Model under Ambiguity," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 431-477, 06.
  10. Kaplow, Louis & Shavell, Steven, 2002. "Economic analysis of law," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 25, pages 1661-1784 Elsevier.
  11. Camerer, Colin & Weber, Martin, 1992. " Recent Developments in Modeling Preferences: Uncertainty and Ambiguity," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 325-70, October.
  12. Shavell, Steven, 1987. "The Optimal Use of Nonmonetary Sanctions as a Deterrent," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 584-92, September.
  13. Newman, Harry A. & Wright, David W., 1990. "Strict liability in a principal-agent model," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 219-231, December.
  14. Segerson, Kathleen & Tietenberg, Tom, 1992. "The structure of penalties in environmental enforcement: An economic analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 179-200, September.
  15. Demougin, Dominique & Fluet, Claude, 2001. "Monitoring versus incentives," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1741-1764, October.
  16. Shavell, Steven, 1992. "Liability and the Incentive to Obtain Information about Risk," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 259-70, June.
  17. Steven Shavell, 1984. "A Model of the Optimal Use of Liability and Safety Regulation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 271-280, Summer.
  18. Mattiacci, Giuseppe Dari & Parisi, Francesco, 2003. "The cost of delegated control: vicarious liability, secondary liability and mandatory insurance," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 453-475, December.
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