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A Simple Guide to Comparative Vigilance

Author

Listed:
  • Feldman Allan M.

    (Dept. of Economics, Brown Univeristy)

  • Singh Ram

    (Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi)

Abstract

In this paper we discuss a new tort liability rule, which we call super-symmetric comparative negligence and vigilance. When both injurer and victim in an accident are negligent, it provides for liability shares that depend on the degrees of negligence of the two parties, similar to the standard comparative negligence rule. Unlike standard liability rules, however, when both parties are vigilant (i.e., taking more care than is efficient), the rule provides for liability shares that depend on the parties degrees of vigilance. Moreover, when one party is negligent and the other is non-negligent, our rule provides for variable liability shares, that respond to both carefulness and carelessness of the parties. Our liability rule is equitable; it has no discontinuity at the efficient point where both parties are just meeting their standards of care; and it provides incentives that guarantee the injurer and victim will choose the efficient care levels. This paper does not include theorems and proofs; rather it explains the results with the aid of a simple example, laid out in an easy 3 x 3 table.

Suggested Citation

  • Feldman Allan M. & Singh Ram, 2011. "A Simple Guide to Comparative Vigilance," Asian Journal of Law and Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(3), pages 1-24, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:ajlecn:v:2:y:2011:i:3:n:1
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kahan, Marcel, 1989. "Causation and Incentives to Take Care under the Negligence Rule," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 427-447, June.
    2. Peter A. Diamond, 1974. "Single Activity Accidents," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 107-164, January.
    3. Ram Singh, 2006. "On the Existence and Efficiency of Equilibria under Liability Rules," Working papers 150, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    4. Oren Bar-Gill & Omri Ben-Shahar, 2003. "The Uneasy Case for Comparative Negligence," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 433-469, August.
    5. repec:mes:challe:v:35:y:1992:i:4:p:51-53 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Allan M. Feldman & Jeonghyun Kim, 2002. "The Hand Rule and United States v. Carroll Towing Co. Reconsidered," Working Papers 2002-27, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    7. Marks, Stephen, 1994. "Discontinuities, Causation, and Grady's Uncertainty Theorem," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 287-301, January.
    8. Kim, Jeonghyun & Feldman, Allan M., 2006. "Victim or injurer, small car or SUV: Tort liability rules under role-type uncertainty," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 455-477, December.
    9. Miceli, Thomas J., 1996. "Cause in fact, proximate cause, and the hand rule: Extending Grady's positive economic theory of negligence," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 473-482, December.
    10. Jeonghyun Kim, 2004. "A Complete Characterization of Efficient Liability Rules: Comment," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 81(1), pages 61-75, January.
    11. Yu-Ping Liao & Michelle J. White, 2002. "No-Fault for Motor Vehicles: An Economic Analysis," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 258-294.
    12. Miceli, Thomas J., 1997. "Economics of the Law: Torts, Contracts, Property, Litigation," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195103908.
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