Playing against an Apparent Opponent: Incentives for Care, Litigation, and Damage Caps under Self-Serving Bias
AbstractThis paper presents a strategic model of incentives for care and litigation under asymmetric information and self-serving bias, and studies the effects of caps on non-economic damages. We contribute to the theoretical law and economics literature by providing the first assessment of the effects of self-serving bias on incentives for care and social welfare, and the first evaluation of the effects of damage caps on incentives for care in an environment that allows for biased litigants. We also contribute to the behavioral economics literature by generalizing the perfect Bayesian equilibrium concept to strategic environments with biased players. Our main findings are as follows. First, our results suggest that the defendant’s bias decreases his expenditures on accident prevention, and hence, increases the likelihood of accidents. Second, both litigants’ biases increase the likelihood of disputes. Third, our results indicate that, although self-serving bias help litigants commit on tough negotiation positions, it is economically self-defeating for the informed plaintiff. The plaintiff’s self-serving bias dilutes the first-mover advantage observed in environments in which only asymmetric information is considered. Fourth, our findings suggest that that the plaintiff’s bias is always welfare reducing. The defendant’s bias is welfare reducing if under-deterrence is present. We then illustrate the benefits of incorporating self-serving bias into the theoretical analysis of tort reform by studying the effects of caps on non-economic damages. We find that damage caps decrease the defendant’s level of care if the biased defendant perceives the cap as relatively low. Importantly, we find that the positive effect of damage caps on lowering the likelihood of disputes, commonly attributed to this tort reform, might not necessarily be observed in environments with biased litigants: Caps might induce higher likelihood of disputes if the defendant perceives the cap as relatively low, and the plaintiff perceives the cap as relatively high. As a result, caps on non-economic damages might be welfare reducing.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Alberta, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2012-15.
Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jun 2012
Date of revision: 01 Oct 2012
settlement; litigation; incentives for care; caps on non-economic damages; self-serving bias; asymmetric information; apparent opponents; perfect Bayesian equilibrium; motivated reasoning; divergent beliefs; universal divinity refinement; motivated achoring; non-cooperative games; disputes; pretrial bargaining;
Other versions of this item:
- Landeo, Claudia & Nikitin, Maxim & Izmalkov, Sergei, 2012. "Playing against an Apparent Opponent: Incentives for Care, Litigation, and Damage Caps under Self-Serving Bias," Working Papers 2012-9, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
- C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- J52 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Dispute Resolution: Strikes, Arbitration, and Mediation
- J58 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Public Policy
- K13 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Tort Law and Product Liability
- K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process
- Z18 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Public Policy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-08-23 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Yasutora Watanabe, 2005. "Learning and Bargaining in Dispute Resolution: Theory and Evidence from Medical Malpractice Litigation," 2005 Meeting Papers 440, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Muhamet Yildiz, 2003. "Bargaining without a Common Prior-An Immediate Agreement Theorem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(3), pages 793-811, 05.
- Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414.
- Bruno Deffains & Eric Langlais, 2009.
"Legal Interpretative Process and Litigants’Cognitive Biases,"
EconomiX Working Papers
2009-8, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
- Deffains, Bruno & Langlais, Eric, 2008. "Legal Interpretative Process and Litigants’ Cognitive Biases," MPRA Paper 14370, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Kennan, J. & Wilson, R., 1991.
"Bargaining with Private Information,"
90-01rev, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
- 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.
- Álvaro Bustos & Ronen Avraham., 2008.
"The Unexpected Effects of Caps on Non-Economic Damages,"
Documentos de Trabajo
353, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
- Avraham, Ronen & Bustos, Álvaro, 2010. "The unexpected effects of caps on non-economic damages," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 291-305, December.
- Farmer, Amy & Pecorino, Paul, 2002. "Pretrial bargaining with self-serving bias and asymmetric information," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 163-176, June.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Brenda Carrier).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.