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Liability as a complement to environmental regulation: an empirical study of the French legal system

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  • Pierre Bentata

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Abstract

Reasons for the joint use of ex ante regulation and ex pos t liability to cope with environmental accidents have been a longstanding issue in law and economics literature. This article, which includes the first empirical study of the French environmental legal system, analyzes courts’ decisions when injurers complied with regulatory standards. The results provide some evidence that liability may be a complement to regulation by encouraging aspects of care that cannot be regulated at reasonable costs, especially human behaviour and organization within dangerous entities. An unexpected effect of liability is observed: judges are more severe with the most regulated firms and public agents compared to smaller, private actors. This might be interpreted as complementing regulation when enforcement of regulatory standards is thought to be weak. Copyright Springer Japan 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre Bentata, 2014. "Liability as a complement to environmental regulation: an empirical study of the French legal system," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 16(3), pages 201-228, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:envpol:v:16:y:2014:i:3:p:201-228
    DOI: 10.1007/s10018-013-0073-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jrpoli:v:55:y:2018:i:c:p:1-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Alfred Endres & Tim Friehe & Bianca Rundshagen, 2015. "Environmental liability law and R&D subsidies: results on the screening of firms and the use of uniform policy," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 17(4), pages 521-541, October.
    3. Andrzej Baniak & Peter Grajzl, 2016. "Controlling Product Risks when Consumers Are Heterogeneously Overconfident: Producer Liability versus Minimum-Quality-Standard Regulation," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 172(2), pages 274-304, June.
    4. Zhou, Jane, 2014. "Beyond Liability: An Analysis of Financial Responsibility and Care Decisions in Hazardous Waste Management Facilities," Working Papers 182293, University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    5. Pierre Bentata & Yolande Hiriart, 2015. "Biased Judges: Evidence from French Environmental Cases," Working Papers hal-01377922, HAL.
    6. Andrzej Baniak & Peter Grajzl, 2014. "Controlling Product Risks when Consumers are Heterogeneously Overconfident: Producer Liability vs. Minimum Quality Standard Regulation," CESifo Working Paper Series 5003, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Regulation; Liability; Environmental risk; Institutional design; K13; K32; K41; L51;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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