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Liability Rules under Evidentiary Uncertainty

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  • Claude Fluet

Abstract

I consider the efficiency of liability rules when courts obtain imperfect information about precautionary behavior. I ask what tort rules are consistent with socially efficient precautions, what informational requirements the evidence about the parties' behavior must satisfy, what decision rules courts should apply when faced with imperfectly informative evidence, whether these decision rules can be formulated in terms of the legal concept of standard of proof, and whether some general characterization of the efficient standard can be given. I show that court judgments provide appropriate incentives to exert care if they signal that the party prevailing at trial most likely exerted due care, neither more nor less.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 0606.

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Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0606

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Keywords: Basket Tort; negligence; moral hazard; imperfect information; standard of proof;

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References

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  1. Sanchirico, Chris William, 1997. "The burden of proof in civil litigation: A simple model of mechanism design," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 431-447, September.
  2. Demougin, Dominique & Fluet, Claude, 2006. "Preponderance of evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 963-976, May.
  3. Craswell, Richard & Calfee, John E, 1986. "Deterrence and Uncertain Legal Standards," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 279-303, Fall.
  4. Claude Fluet & Dominique Demougin, 2001. "Ranking of information systems in agency models: an integral condition," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 489-496.
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  8. Claude Fluet, 2002. "Enforcing Contracts: Should Courts Seek the Truth?," Cahiers de recherche 0202, CIRPEE.
  9. Peter A. Diamond, 1974. "Single Activity Accidents," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 107-164, January.
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  13. Kim, Son Ku, 1995. "Efficiency of an Information System in an Agency Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 89-102, January.
  14. Demougin, Dominique & Fluet, Claude, 2001. "Monitoring versus incentives," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1741-1764, October.
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  17. Edlin, Aaron S., 1994. "Efficient standards of due care: Should courts find more parties negligent under comparative negligence?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 21-34, March.
  18. Fluet, Claude, 1999. "Régulation des risques et insolvabilité : le rôle de la responsabilité pour faute en information imparfaite," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 75(1), pages 379-399, mars-juin.
  19. Hylton, Keith N, 1990. "Costly Litigation and Legal Error under Negligence," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 433-52, Fall.
  20. Kessler, Daniel & McClellan, Mark, 1996. "Do Doctors Practice Defensive Medicine?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 353-90, May.
  21. Schauer, Frederick & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1996. "On the Degree of Confidence for Adverse Decisions," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(1), pages 27-52, January.
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  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Schweizer, Urs, 2005. "Law and Economics of Obligations," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 209-228, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Marie-Cécile Fagart & Claude Fluet, 2009. "Liability insurance under the negligence rule," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(3), pages 486-508.
  2. Marcel Boyer & Donatella Porrini, 2010. "The Impact of Court Errors on Liability Sharing and Safety Regulation for Environmental/Industrial Accidents," CIRANO Working Papers 2010s-48, CIRANO.
  3. Julien Jacob, 2011. "Innovation and diffusion in risky industries under liability law: the case of “double-impact” innovations," Working Papers of BETA 2011-24, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.

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