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Rational Legal Decision-Making, Value Judgment and Efficient Precaution in Tort law

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  • MINGLI ZHENG

    (University of Macau)

  • SAJID ANWAR

    (University of South Australia)

Abstract

By reinterpreting Savage axioms as axioms of the social rationality over resource allocations, we derive a social welfare function encompassing individual social values and a social attitude towards distributional inequality. Wealth maximization becomes the purpose of law only if individuals have equal social values and the society does not care about distributional inequality. In tort law, when the injurer is less socially valued than the victim, the society imposes a stricter due precaution level, and punitive damages will be awarded. Tort law also implicitly transfers wealth from the less socially valued party to the more socially valued party.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/le/papers/0505/0505004.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Law and Economics with number 0505004.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 06 May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwple:0505004

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 28. forthcoming in JITE
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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Keywords: rationality; value judgement; tort law; punitive damage;

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  1. Mongin Philippe, 1995. "Consistent Bayesian Aggregation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 313-351, August.
  2. P. Mongin, 2000. "Is there progress in normative economics ?," THEMA Working Papers 2000-37, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  3. Gilboa, Itzhak, 1987. "Expected utility with purely subjective non-additive probabilities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 65-88, February.
  4. Louis Kaplow & Steven Shavell, 2001. "Any Non-welfarist Method of Policy Assessment Violates the Pareto Principle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 281-286, April.
  5. BLACKORBY, Charles & BOSSERT, Walter & DONALDSON, David, 2002. "In Defense of Welfarism," Cahiers de recherche 2002-02, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  6. Itzhak Gilboa & David Schmeidler, 1992. "Additive Representation of Non-Additive Measures and the Choquet Integral," Discussion Papers 985, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David & Weymark, John A., 1999. "Harsanyi's social aggregation theorem for state-contingent alternatives1," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 365-387, November.
  8. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309.
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