Optimal liability when the injurer's information about the victim's loss is imperfect
A central result in the economic theory of liability is that, if an injurer's liability equals the victim's loss, then either the rule of strict liability or the rule of negligence can induce the injurer to behave properly. However, for this result to hold, the injurer must know the victim's loss before the injurer decides whether to engage in the harmful activity and, g fortiori, before any harm has occurred. This paper reevaluates the rules of strict liability and negligence when the injurer's information is imperfect. Two questions are addressed: Under each rule, should the level of liability imposed on the injurer still equal the victim's loss? Are the rules of strict liability and negligence still equally desirable? With respect to the first question, it is demonstrated that the optimal level of liability generally is not equal to the victim's loss. With respect to the second question, it is shown that if the injurer's liability equals the victim's loss, then the two rules are equivalent, but if liability is set optimally under each rule, then strict liability generally induces the injurer to behave in a more appropriate way.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Peter A. Diamond, 1974.
"Single Activity Accidents,"
The Journal of Legal Studies,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 107-164, January.
- P. A. Diamond, 1973. "Single Activity Accidents," Working papers 113, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Landes, William M. & Posner, Richard A., 1981. "An economic theory of intentional torts," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 127-154, December.
- Craswell, Richard & Calfee, John E, 1986. "Deterrence and Uncertain Legal Standards," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 279-303, Fall. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:7:y:1987:i:2:p:139-147. 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)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.