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Accidental death and the rule of joint and several liability

Author

Listed:
  • Daniel Carvell
  • Janet Currie
  • W. Bentley MacLeod

Abstract

Reforms to the Joint and Several Liability rule (JSL) are one of the most common tort reforms and have been implemented by most US states. JSL allows plaintiffs to claim full recovery from one of the defendants, even if that defendant is only partially responsible for the tort. We develop a theoretical model that shows that the efficiency of the JSL rule depends critically on both whether the care taken by potential tortfeasors is observed, and on how the actions of the potential tortfeasors interact to cause the harm. We then provide evidence that reforms of the JSL rule have been accompanied by reductions in the accidental death rate in the U. S. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that the reform of JSL causes potential tortfeasors to take more care.
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Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Carvell & Janet Currie & W. Bentley MacLeod, 2012. "Accidental death and the rule of joint and several liability," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(1), pages 51-77, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:randje:v:43:y:2012:i:1:p:51-77
    DOI: j.1756-2171.2012.00158.x
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1756-2171.2012.00158.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Matter, Ulrich & Stutzer, Alois, 2015. "Politico-economic determinants of tort reforms in medical malpractice," Working papers 2015/02, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    2. Gomez, Fernando & Penalva, Jose, 2015. "Tort reform and the theory of coordinating tort and insurance," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 83-97.
    3. repec:bla:jrinsu:v:84:y:2017:i:2:p:691-715 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Matter, Ulrich & Stutzer, Alois, 2016. "The role of party politics in medical malpractice tort reforms," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 17-35.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • K13 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Tort Law and Product Liability; Forensic Economics

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