Shifting Plaintiffs' Fees versus Increasing Damage Awards
Shifting victorious plaintiffs' fees to defendants and increasing damage awards are alternative ways to achieve similar results: increasing plaintiffs' incentives to sue and raising defendants' expected payments. This article shows that relying on higher damage awards is more efficient than shifting plaintiffs' fees. The reason is that fee shifting is more valuable for plaintiffs with higher litigation costs. Thus, it is possible to substitute higher damage awards for fee shifting in a manner that leaves deterrence unaffected while eliminating the suits of plaintiffs with the highest litigation costs.
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Volume (Year): 24 (1993)
Issue (Month): 4 (Winter)
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- Katz, Avery, 1987. "Measuring the Demand for Litigation: Is the English Rule Really Cheaper?," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 143-76, Fall.
- Gary S. Becker, 1974.
"Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,"
in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- A. Mitchell Polinsky & Yeon-Koo Che, 1991.
"Decoupling Liability: Optimal Incentives for Care and Litigation,"
NBER Working Papers
3634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
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