IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Safety regulation vs. liability with heterogeneous probabilities of suit


  • Rouillon, Sebastien


This article deals with the regulation of activities that entail risk by means of regulatory standard and liability. The original assumption is that the probability that parties might escape liability is variable among the population. The use of each instrument separately is first considered. Under liability, the optimal damages are calculated. From this, it is shown that regulation is superior to liability if harm is not too variable within the population and if the probability of suit is sufficiently variable within the population, and conversely. The use of both instruments at the same time is then analyzed. The optimal combination of a safety standard and a liability schedule is derived. From this, it is proved that a joint use of regulation and liability is always optimal and that the instruments should be designed in a less stringent manner when used jointly.

Suggested Citation

  • Rouillon, Sebastien, 2008. "Safety regulation vs. liability with heterogeneous probabilities of suit," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 133-139, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:28:y:2008:i:2:p:133-139

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2000. "On the joint use of liability and safety regulation," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 371-382, September.
    2. Robert D. Cooter, 1991. "Economic Theories of Legal Liability," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 11-30, Summer.
    3. Kaplow, Louis & Shavell, Steven, 2002. "Economic analysis of law," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 25, pages 1661-1784 Elsevier.
    4. Sébastien ROUILLON (GREThA), 2008. "Variable Probabilities of Suit and Liability Rules," Cahiers du GREThA 2008-15, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Friehe, Tim & Langlais, Eric, 2015. "On the political economy of public safety investments," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 7-16.
    2. Grajzl, Peter & Baniak, Andrzej, 2009. "Industry self-regulation, subversion of public institutions, and social control of torts," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 360-374, December.
    3. Andrzej Baniak & Peter Grajzl, 2016. "Controlling Product Risks when Consumers Are Heterogeneously Overconfident: Producer Liability versus Minimum-Quality-Standard Regulation," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 172(2), pages 274-304, June.
    4. Reinshagen, Felix, 2011. "Standards and Incentives in Safety Regulation," Munich Dissertations in Economics 13430, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    5. Michel, Stephan & Romano, Alessandro & Zannini, Ugo, 2017. "Joint Use of Liability and Regulation in Environmental Law," ILE Working Paper Series 5, University of Hamburg, Institute of Law and Economics.
    6. Andrzej Baniak & Peter Grajzl, 2014. "Controlling Product Risks when Consumers are Heterogeneously Overconfident: Producer Liability vs. Minimum Quality Standard Regulation," CESifo Working Paper Series 5003, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:28:y:2008:i:2:p:133-139. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.