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Deterrence versus Judicial Error: A Comparative View of Standards of Proof

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  • Dominique Demougin
  • Claude Fluet

Abstract

We argue that the common-law standard of proof, given the rules of evidence, does not minimize expected error as usually argued in the legal literature, but may well be efficient from the standpoint of providing maximal incentives for socially desirable behavior. By contrast, civil law's higher but somewhat imprecise standard may be interpreted as reflecting a trade-off between providing incentives and avoiding judicial error per se. In our model, the optimal judicial system has rules resembling those in the common law when providing incentives is paramount. When greater weight is given to avoiding error, the optimal system has civil-law features.

Suggested Citation

  • Dominique Demougin & Claude Fluet, 2005. "Deterrence versus Judicial Error: A Comparative View of Standards of Proof," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 161(2), pages 193-193, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(200506)161:2_193:dvjeac_2.0.tx_2-n
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Demougin, Dominique & Fluet, Claude, 2006. "Preponderance of evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 963-976, May.
    2. Henrik Lando, 2002. "When is the Preponderance of the Evidence Standard Optimal?," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 27(4), pages 602-608, October.
    3. Kaplow, Louis & Shavell, Steven, 1994. "Accuracy in the Determination of Liability," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 1-15, April.
    4. Claude Fluet, 2003. "Enforcing Contracts: Should Courts Seek the Truth?," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 159(1), pages 1-49, March.
    5. Daniel L. Rubinfeld & David E.M. Sappington, 1987. "Efficient Awards and Standards of Proof in Judicial Proceedings," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(2), pages 308-315, Summer.
    6. Davis, Michael L, 1994. "The Value of Truth and the Optimal Standard of Proof in Legal Disputes," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 343-359, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kim, Chulyoung, 2016. "Adversarial bias, litigation, and the Daubert test: An economic approach," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 67-75.
    2. Dominique Demougin & Claude Fluet, 2008. "Rules of proof, courts, and incentives," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(1), pages 20-40.
    3. Antonio Nicita & Matteo Rizzolli, 2014. "In Dubio Pro Reo. Behavioral Explanations of Pro-defendant Bias in Procedures," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 60(3), pages 554-580.
    4. Fluet, Claude, 2010. "L’économie de la preuve judiciaire," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 86(4), pages 451-486, décembre.
    5. Matteo Rizzolli & Luca Stanca, 2012. "Judicial Errors and Crime Deterrence: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(2), pages 311-338.
    6. Fluet, Claude, 2010. "Liability rules under evidentiary uncertainty," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 1-9, March.
    7. Christoph Engel & Urs Schweizer, 2005. "Editorial Preface," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 161(2), pages 191-191, June.
    8. Anja Olbrich, 2008. "The optimal negligence standard in health care under supply-side cost sharing," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 73-85, June.
    9. Claude-Denys Fluet & Murat C. Mungan, 2017. "The Signal-Tuning Function of Liability Regimes," Cahiers de recherche 1707, Centre de recherche sur les risques, les enjeux économiques, et les politiques publiques.
    10. Xinyu Hua & Kathryn E. Spier, 2005. "Information and Externalities in Sequential Litigation," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 161(2), pages 215-215, June.
    11. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:11:y:2006:i:2:p:1-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Kim, Chulyoung, 2015. "Centralized vs. Decentralized Institutions for Expert Testimony," MPRA Paper 69618, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Chulyoung Kim, 2014. "Adversarial and Inquisitorial Procedures with Information Acquisition," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(4), pages 767-803.
    14. Bruno Deffains & Claude Fluet, 2013. "The Role of Social Image Concerns in the Design of Legal Regimes," Cahiers de recherche 1321, CIRPEE.
    15. Bruno Deffains & Claude Fluet, 2007. "Legal versus Normative Incentives under Judicial Error," Cahiers de recherche 0718, CIRPEE.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior

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