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The joint use of regulation and strict liability with multidimensional care and uncertain conviction

  • Bhole, Bharat
  • Wagner, Jeffrey

The purpose of this paper is to explore the joint use of regulation and strict liability when firms can take care in both observable and unobservable dimensions and when the firm's conviction for damages is uncertain. Much of the literature concerning joint use regards management of the judgment-proof problem; the take-home result of our paper is that if the harming party can take both observable and unobservable care, then joint use can improve welfare even in the absence of judgment-proofness. This is true even when penalty multipliers are allowed, provided social welfare is negatively related to the firm's expected liability costs. In fact, use of penalty multipliers further strengthens the case for joint use.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Review of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 28 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 123-132

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Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:28:y:2008:i:2:p:123-132
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/irle

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  1. Trebilcock, Michael & Winter, Ralph A., 1997. "The economics of nuclear accident law," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 215-243, June.
  2. Millock, Katrin & Sunding, David & Zilberman, David, 2002. "Regulating Pollution with Endogenous Monitoring," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 221-241, September.
  3. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2000. "On the Joint Use of Liability and Safety Regulation," MPRA Paper 12536, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Alberini, Anna & Austin, David H., 1999. "Strict Liability as a Deterrent in Toxic Waste Management: Empirical Evidence from Accident and Spill Data," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 20-48, July.
  5. Hutchinson, Emma & van 't Veld, Klaas, 2005. "Extended liability for environmental accidents: what you see is what you get," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 157-173, January.
  6. Brian Roe, 2004. "Optimal Sharing of Foodborne Illness Prevention between Consumers and Industry: The Effect of Regulation and Liability," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(2), pages 359-374.
  7. Bartsch, Elga, 1997. "Environmental liability, imperfect information, and multidimensional pollution control," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 139-146, March.
  8. Polinsky, A Mitchell, 1980. "Strict Liability vs. Negligence in a Market Setting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 363-67, May.
  9. Segerson, Kathleen, 1990. "Liability for groundwater contamination from pesticides," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 227-243, November.
  10. Bruce Hay & Kathryn E. Spier, 2005. "Manufacturer Liability for Harms Caused by Consumers to Others," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1700-1711, December.
  11. Friesen, Lana, 2006. "The social welfare implications of industry self-auditing," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 280-294, May.
  12. Steven Shavell, 2002. "Law versus Morality as Regulators of Conduct," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 227-257.
  13. G.G.A. de Geest & G. Dari Mattiacci, 2005. "Soft Regulators, though judges," Working Papers 05-06, Utrecht School of Economics.
  14. Jeffrey Wagner & Gregory DeAngelo, 2005. "Characterizing regulation and negligence rule uncertainty in solid waste management," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 11(1), pages 1-11.
  15. Pfaff, Alexander S P & Sanchirico, Chris William, 2000. "Environmental Self-Auditing: Setting the Proper Incentives for Discovery and Correction of Environmental Harm," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 189-208, April.
  16. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:11:y:2005:i:1:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Innes, Robert, 2004. "Enforcement costs, optimal sanctions, and the choice between ex-post liability and ex-ante regulation," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 29-48, March.
  18. Burrows, Paul, 1999. "Combining regulation and legal liability for the control of external costs," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 227-244, June.
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