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Efficient Liability Rules for Multi-Party Accidents With Moral Hazard

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  • Eberhard Feess
  • Ulrich Hege

Abstract

The economic analysis of tort law is extended to multi-party accidents with unobservable actions. Due to the requirement of no punitive damages, the problem resembles a team production problem. It is shown that asymmetry in the agents' impact on the stochastic damage function can be exploited to improve ex ante incentives. This implies departures from the proportional rule, based on the statistical information contained in the circumstances of the accident. If a noisy monitoring technology is introduced, then monitoring can add enough stochastic identifiability among injurers to restore efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Eberhard Feess & Ulrich Hege, 1998. "Efficient Liability Rules for Multi-Party Accidents With Moral Hazard," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 154(2), pages 422-450, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(199806)154:2_422:elrfma_2.0.tx_2-i
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David I & Maskin, Eric, 1994. "The Folk Theorem with Imperfect Public Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 997-1039, September.
    2. Legros, Patrick & Matsushima, Hitoshi, 1991. "Efficiency in partnerships," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 296-322, December.
    3. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Yeon-Koo Che, 1991. "Decoupling Liability: Optimal Incentives for Care and Litigation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(4), pages 562-570, Winter.
    4. Xepapadeas, A. P., 1991. "Environmental policy under imperfect information: Incentives and moral hazard," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 113-126, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marx, Leslie M. & Squintani, Francesco, 2009. "Individual accountability in teams," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 260-273, October.
    2. Endres, Alfred & Bertram, Regina, 2006. "The development of care technology under liability law," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 503-518, December.
    3. González, Patrick, 2003. "Optimal Assignment of Liabilities," Cahiers de recherche 0305, Université Laval - Département d'économique.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • K13 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Tort Law and Product Liability; Forensic Economics
    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law

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