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Cognitive coherence and tort reform

  • Landeo, Claudia M.

We experimentally study the effects of the split-award tort reform, where the state takes a share of the plaintiff's punitive damage award, on litigants' beliefs and bargaining outcomes. In addition, we study the formation of litigants' beliefs in a strategic environment. Our results provide support for coherence-based reasoning theories: coherence shifts in litigants' background beliefs (elicited before a role is assigned and after commitment to a choice at the pretrial bargaining stage) suggest bi-directionality between choices and beliefs. Our findings also suggest role-specific bias in the updating of plaintiffs' beliefs about firm's negligence. Finally, our findings indicate that split-awards affect plaintiffs' beliefs about fairness and lower out-of-court settlement amounts.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

Volume (Year): 30 (2009)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 898-912

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Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:30:y:2009:i:6:p:898-912
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  2. Claudia M. Landeo & Maxim Nikitin, 2006. "Split-Award Tort Reform, Firm's Level of Care, and Litigation Outcomes," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 162(4), pages 571-600, December.
  3. Claudia M. Landeo & Maxim Nikitin & Scott Baker, 2007. "Deterrence, Lawsuits, and Litigation Outcomes Under Court Errors," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(1), pages 57-97, April.
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