IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ucp/jlawec/doi10.1086-666959.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

An Activity-Generating Theory of Regulation

Author

Listed:
  • Joshua Schwartzstein
  • Andrei Shleifer

Abstract

We propose an activity-generating theory of regulation. When courts make errors, tort litigation becomes unpredictable and as such imposes risk on firms, thereby discouraging entry, innovation, and other socially desirable activity. When social returns to activity are higher than private returns, it may pay the society to generate some information ex ante about how risky firms are and to impose safety standards based on that information. In some situations, compliance with such standards should entirely preempt tort liability; in others, it should merely reduce penalties. By reducing litigation risk, this type of regulation can raise welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua Schwartzstein & Andrei Shleifer, 2013. "An Activity-Generating Theory of Regulation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(1), pages 1-38.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/666959
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/666959
    Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/666959
    Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Polinsky, A Mitchell, 1980. "Strict Liability vs. Negligence in a Market Setting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 363-367, May.
    2. Kaplow, Louis & Shavell, Steven, 1996. "Accuracy in the Assessment of Damages," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(1), pages 191-210, April.
    3. Edward Glaeser & Simon Johnson & Andrei Shleifer, 2001. "Coase Versus the Coasians," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 853-899.
    4. Immordino, Giovanni & Pagano, Marco & Polo, Michele, 2011. "Incentives to innovate and social harm: Laissez-faire, authorization or penalties?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 864-876, August.
    5. Steven Shavell & A. Mitchell Polinsky, 2000. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 45-76, March.
    6. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2003. "The Rise of the Regulatory State," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(2), pages 401-425, June.
    7. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, January.
    8. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, January.
    9. Png, I. P. L., 1986. "Optimal subsidies and damages in the presence of judicial error," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 101-105, June.
    10. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Banerjee, A.V., 1997. "A Theory of Misgovernance," Working papers 97-4, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    12. repec:hrv:faseco:30747197 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Tomas J. Philipson & Eric Sun & Dana Goldman, 2010. "The Effects of Product Liability Exemption in the Presence of the FDA," NBER Chapters,in: Regulation vs. Litigation: Perspectives from Economics and Law, pages 137-163 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Craswell, Richard & Calfee, John E, 1986. "Deterrence and Uncertain Legal Standards," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 279-303, Fall.
    15. Winand Emons & Joel Sobel, 1991. "On the Effectiveness of Liability Rules when Agents are not Identical," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 375-390.
    16. Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2008. "Judicial Fact Discretion," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 1-35, January.
    17. Viscusi, W Kip & Moore, Michael J, 1993. "Product Liability, Research and Development, and Innovation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 161-184, February.
    18. Gary S. Becker & George J. Stigler, 1974. "Law Enforcement, Malfeasance, and Compensation of Enforcers," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 1-18, January.
    19. Michael Spence, 1977. "Consumer Misperceptions, Product Failure and Producer Liability," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 561-572.
    20. Abhijit V. Banerjee, 1997. "A Theory of Misgovernance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1289-1332.
    21. Kolstad, Charles D & Ulen, Thomas S & Johnson, Gary V, 1990. "Ex Post Liability for Harm vs. Ex Ante Safety Regulation: Substitutes or Complements?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 888-901, September.
    22. W. Kip Viscusi, 1991. "Product and Occupational Liability," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 71-91, Summer.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Giovanni Immordino & Michele Polo, 2014. "Public Policies in Investment-Intensive Industries," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: THE ANALYSIS OF COMPETITION POLICY AND SECTORAL REGULATION, chapter 13, pages 365-388 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Andrei Shleifer, 2010. "Efficient Regulation," NBER Chapters,in: Regulation vs. Litigation: Perspectives from Economics and Law, pages 27-43 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Immordino, Giovanni & Pagano, Marco & Polo, Michele, 2011. "Incentives to innovate and social harm: Laissez-faire, authorization or penalties?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 864-876, August.
    4. Immordino, Giovanni & Polo, Michele, 2014. "Antitrust, legal standards and investment," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 36-50.
    5. TAKEDA Yosuke & UCHIDA Ichihiro, 2015. "Innovation and Legal Enforcement for Competition Policy: Theory and international evidence from overseas subsidiaries of the Japanese auto-parts suppliers," Discussion papers 15046, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    6. Kenneth S. Corts, 2013. "Prohibitions on False and Unsubstantiated Claims: Inducing the Acquisition and Revelation of Information through Competition Policy," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(2), pages 453-486.
    7. Scott Baker & Claudio Mezzetti, 2012. "A Theory of Rational Jurisprudence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(3), pages 513-551.
    8. Goeschl, Timo & Pfrommer, Tobias, 2015. "Learning by Negligence - Torts, Experimentation, and the Value of Information," Working Papers 0598, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    9. Maciej H. Kotowski & David A. Weisbach & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 2014. "Rules and Standards When Compliance Costs Are Private Information," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(S2), pages 297-329.
    10. Arup Bose & Debashis Pal & David E. M. Sappington, 2016. "On the Merits of Antitrust Liability in Regulated Industries," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(2), pages 359-392.
    11. 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

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • K13 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Tort Law and Product Liability; Forensic Economics
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/666959. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division). General contact details of provider: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.