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Tort Reform, Disputes and Belief Formation

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  • Landeo, Claudia

    ()
    (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)

Abstract

We experimentally study the effects of the split-award tort reform, where the state takes a share of the plaintiff's punitive damage award, on litigants' beliefs and bargaining outcomes. In addition, we study the formation of litigants' beliefs in a strategic environment. Our results provide support for coherence-based reasoning theories: coherence shifts in litigants' background beliefs (elicited before a role is assigned and after commitment to a choice at the pretrial bargaining stage) suggest bi-directionality between choices and beliefs. Our findings also suggest role-specific bias in the updating of plaintiffs' beliefs about firm's negligence. Finally, our findings indicate that split-awards affect plaintiffs' beliefs about fairness and lower out-of-court settlement amounts.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Alberta, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2009-12.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 14 Feb 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:albaec:2009_012

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Keywords: Tort Reform; Belief Formation; Split-Award Statute; Coherence-Based-Reasoning; Role-Specific Bias; Self-Serving Bias; Motivated Reasoning; Settlement; Litigation; Experiments; Debiasing through Law;

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  1. Michelle J. White, 2004. "Asbestos and the Future of Mass Torts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 183-204, Spring.
  2. Claudia M. Landeo & Maxim Nikitin, 2006. "Split-Award Tort Reform, Firm's Level of Care, and Litigation Outcomes," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 162(4), pages 571-600, December.
  3. Babcock, Linda & Farber, Henry S. & Fobian, Cynthia & Shafir, Eldar, 1995. "Forming beliefs about adjudicated outcomes: Perceptions of risk and reservation values," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 289-303, September.
  4. Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2000. "Found Money? Split-Award Statutes and Settlement of Punitive Damages Cases," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0001, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics, revised Mar 2001.
  5. Babcock, Linda & Pogarsky, Greg, 1999. "Damage Caps and Settlement: A Behavioral Approach," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 341-70, June.
  6. Landeo, Claudia M. & Nikitin, Maxim & Babcock, Linda, 2007. "Split-awards and disputes: An experimental study of a strategic model of litigation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 553-572, July.
  7. Michelle J. White, 2004. "Asbestos and the Future of Mass Torts," NBER Working Papers 10308, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Babcock, Linda, et al, 1995. "Biased Judgments of Fairness in Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1337-43, December.
  9. Christine Jolls & Cass R. Sunstein, 2006. "Debiasing through Law," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 199-242, 01.
  10. Cooper, David J. & Kagel, John H., 2003. "The impact of meaningful context on strategic play in signaling games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 311-337, March.
  11. Claudia M. Landeo & Maxim Nikitin & Scott Baker, 2007. "Deterrence, Lawsuits, and Litigation Outcomes Under Court Errors," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(1), pages 57-97, April.
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