Causation and Incentives to Choose Levels of Care and Activity Under the Negligence Rule
Standard economic analysis of tort law shows that the causation requirement does not affect the operation of the negligence rule in a perfect world, but does so in an imperfect world. While the standard analysis has focused exclusively on care models, this paper analyzes the impact of the causation requirement in more realistic models of care and activity. This paper shows that in these settings the causation requirement is still of no consequence in a perfectly operating world; however, under imperfect conditions, the qualitative impact of the causation requirement depends on the type of the precautionary measure and its relationship to the activity level. If care and expected harm are linear in activity levels, then causation alters the basic results. For example, it is shown that if due care is set at incorrect levels (a reasonable person rather than an individualized standard), then causation is not necessarily socially desirable; and that it is socially detrimental under conditions of systematically mis-estimated harm. On the other hand, if the precautionary measure is perfectly durable i.e., its costs are independent of the activity level then the basic qualitative results are not changed. For example, setting due care slightly higher than first-best optimal care induces injurers to abide by the due care standard. In addition, slight errors in estimating damages do not affect injurers adherence to the due care standard.
If 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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 4 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.degruyter.com|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/rle|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:rlecon:v:4:y:2008:i:1:n:8. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla)
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.