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Jurors, Judges, and the Mistreatment of Risk by the Courts

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  • Viscusi, W Kip

Abstract

A sample of almost 500 jury-eligible citizens considered a series of experimental situations involving accidents. The juror sample did not properly apply negligence rules, as their errors were particularly great for low-probability, large-loss cases. They also penalized corporations for undertaking corporate risk analyses that seek to trade off cost versus risk reduction benefits. Jurors' damages assessments were also more prone to error than were responses by a sample of state judges. Judges were less prone to erroneous risk beliefs and less subject to the zero-risk mentality. Copyright 2001 by the University of Chicago.

Suggested Citation

  • Viscusi, W Kip, 2001. "Jurors, Judges, and the Mistreatment of Risk by the Courts," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 107-142, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:30:y:2001:i:1:p:107-42
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/468113
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Heise, 2013. "Empirical Analysis of Civil Litigation: Torts Trials in State Courts," Chapters,in: Research Handbook on the Economics of Torts, chapter 1, pages 11-30 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Christoph Engel, 2006. "The Difficult Reception of Rigorous Descriptive Social Science in the Law," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2006_1, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    3. Eric Langlais, 2008. "Cognitive dissonance, risk aversion and the pretrial negotiation impasse," Cahiers du CEREFIGE 0806, CEREFIGE (Centre Europeen de Recherche en Economie Financiere et Gestion des Entreprises), Universite de Lorraine, revised 2008.
    4. Langlais, Eric, 2010. "An analysis of bounded rationality in judicial litigations: the case with loss/disappointment averses plaintiffs," MPRA Paper 22291, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Chopard, Bertrand & Langlais, Eric, 2009. "Défaut de paiement stratégique et loi sur les défaillances d'entreprises
      [Strategic default and bankruptcy law]
      ," MPRA Paper 14366, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Fredrik Carlsson & Dinky Daruvala & Henrik Jaldell, 2012. "Do administrators have the same priorities for risk reductions as the general public?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 79-95, August.
    7. Abbie A. Rogers, 2013. "Public and Expert Preference Divergence: Evidence from a Choice Experiment of Marine Reserves in Australia," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 89(2), pages 346-370.
    8. Bruno Deffains & Eric Langlais, 2006. "Incentives to cooperate and the discretionary power of courts in divorce law," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 423-439, December.
    9. Pedro Bordalo & Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2015. "Salience Theory of Judicial Decisions," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(S1), pages 7-33.
    10. Deffains, Bruno & Langlais, Eric, 2008. "Legal Interpretative Process and Litigants’ Cognitive Biases," MPRA Paper 14370, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Eric Langlais, 2008. "Asymmetric information, self-serving bias and the pretrial negotiation impasse," EconomiX Working Papers 2008-30, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    12. Thomas A. Eaton & David B. Mustard & Susette M. Talarico, 2005. "Punitive Damages and the Processing of Tort Claims," Law and Economics 0501002, EconWPA.

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