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The Simple Economics of Class Action: Private Provision of Club and Public Goods

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Author Info

  • Cassone, Alberto

    ()

  • Ramello, Giovanni B.

    ()

Abstract

This article uses economic categories to show how the reorganisation of civil procedure in the case of class action is not merely aimed at providing a more efficient litigation technology, as hierarchies (and company law) might do for other productive activities, but that it also serves to create a well defined economic organization ultimately aimed at producing a set of goods, first and foremost among which are justice and efficiency. Class action has the potential to recreate, in the judicial domain, the same effects that individual interests and motivations, governed by the perfect competition paradigm, bring to the market. Moreover, through economic analysis it is possible to rediscover not only the productive function of this legal machinery, but also that partial compensation of victims and large profits for the class counsel, far from being a side-effect, are actually a necessary condition for reallocation of the costs and risks associated with the legal action.

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File URL: http://polis.unipmn.it/pubbl/RePEc/uca/ucaiel/iel003.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS in its series IEL Working Papers with number 3.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uca:ucaiel:3

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Web page: http://polis.unipmn.it

Related research

Keywords: class action; collective litigation; mass tort; club; liability; deterrence;

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References

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  1. Giovanni Ramello, 2011. "Property rights and externalities: the uneasy case of knowledge," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 123-141, February.
  2. Alon Klement, 2004. "Incentive Structures for Class Action Lawyers," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 102-124, April.
  3. Ramello, Giovanni B. & Porrini, Donatella, 2010. "Class action and financial markets: Insights from law and economics," POLIS Working Papers 143, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
  4. Gallini, Nancy, 2011. "Private Agreements for Coordinating Patent Rights: The Case of Patent Pools," IEL Working Papers 5, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
  5. Cornes,Richard & Sandler,Todd, 1996. "The Theory of Externalities, Public Goods, and Club Goods," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521477185, April.
  6. Juergen Backhaus, 2011. "The law firm as an investment bank in class actions," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 225-228, October.
  7. Thomas Ulen, 2011. "An introduction to the law and economics of class action litigation," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 185-203, October.
  8. Marta Cenini & Barbara Luppi & Francesco Parisi, 2011. "Incentive effects of class actions and punitive damages under alternative procedural regimes," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 229-240, October.
  9. Boyd, James, 2001. "Financial Responsibility for Environmental Obligations: Are Bonding and Assurance Rules Fulfilling Their Promise?," Discussion Papers dp-01-42, Resources For the Future.
  10. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2001. "The Rise of the Regulatory State," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1934, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  11. Nicita Antonio & Ramello Giovanni B., 2007. "Property, Liability and Market Power: The Antitrust Side of Copyright," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(3), pages 767-791, December.
  12. Dana, James D, Jr & Spier, Kathryn E, 1993. "Expertise and Contingent Fees: The Role of Asymmetric Information in Attorney Compensation," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 349-67, October.
  13. Sophie Harnay & Alain Marciano, 2011. "Seeking rents through class actions and legislative lobbying: a comparison," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 293-304, October.
  14. Lorenzo Sacconi, 2011. "The case against lawyers’ contingent fees and the misapplication of principal-agent models," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 263-292, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Thomas Ulen, 2011. "An introduction to the law and economics of class action litigation," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 185-203, October.
  2. Lorenzo Sacconi, 2011. "The case against lawyers’ contingent fees and the misapplication of principal-agent models," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 263-292, October.
  3. Donatella Porrini & Giovanni B. Ramello, 2011. "Class action and financial markets: insights from law and economics," Journal of Financial Economic Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 3(2), pages 140-160, July.
  4. Marta Cenini & Barbara Luppi & Francesco Parisi, 2011. "Incentive effects of class actions and punitive damages under alternative procedural regimes," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 229-240, October.
  5. Sophie Harnay & Alain Marciano, 2011. "Seeking rents through class actions and legislative lobbying: a comparison," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 293-304, October.
  6. Ramello, Giovanni B., 2012. "Aggregate Litigation and Regulatory Innovation: Another View of Judicial Efficiency," IEL Working Papers 8, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
  7. Juergen Backhaus & Alberto Cassone & Giovanni Ramello, 2011. "The law and economics of class actions," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 165-168, October.

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