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Integrating Punishment and Efficiency Concerns in Punitive Damages for Reckless Disregard of Risks to Others

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  • Peter Diamond

Abstract

Justifications for the use of punitive damages refer to deterrence and punishment. After formulating a social welfare function that incorporates both economic efficiency and a desire for retribution, optimal punitive damages are considered to balance concerns for economic efficiency and for retribution. This optimal balancing is considered where compensatory damages alone provide the correct level of deterrence, allowing the ideal retribution to vary with the level of wealth and with the level of precaution. The analysis is extended to situations where some accidents do not result in liability. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Diamond, 2002. "Integrating Punishment and Efficiency Concerns in Punitive Damages for Reckless Disregard of Risks to Others," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 117-139, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:18:y:2002:i:1:p:117-139
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    Cited by:

    1. Polinsky, A. Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 2007. "The Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
    2. Steven Shavell, 2005. "Liability for Accidents," NBER Working Papers 11781, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Luciana Echazu & Mark Frascatore, 2012. "Supply Chain Quality, Mandatory Insurance, and Recall Risk," International Journal of Business and Economics, College of Business and College of Finance, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan, vol. 11(1), pages 1-11, June.
    4. Fluet, Claude & Galbiati, Rpbertp, 2016. "Lois et normes : les enseignements de l'économie comportementale," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 92(1-2), pages 191-215, Mars-Juin.
    5. Lando Henrik, 2009. "Prevention of Crime and the Optimal Standard of Proof in Criminal Law," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 33-52, January.
    6. Lando, Henrik, 2000. "The Optimal Standard of Proof in Criminal Law When Both Fairness and Deterrence Matter," Working Papers 2000-7, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Finance.
    7. Park Sung-Hoon & Shogren Jason F, 2010. "Environmental Citizen Suits with Pigovian Punitive Damages," Asian Journal of Law and Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-19, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K10 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - General (Constitutional Law)
    • K13 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Tort Law and Product Liability; Forensic Economics

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