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Punitive Damages: How Judges and Juries Perform

  • Joni Hersch
  • W. Kip Viscusi

Civil Justice Survey of State Courts, 1996, we find that juries are significantly more likely to award punitive damages than are judges and award higher levels of punitive damages. Jury awards are also less strongly related to compensatory damages. The differential effect of juries is most pronounced among the largest awards. Juries also tend to award higher levels of compensatory damages, which in turn boost the punitive damages award. The findings are robust with respect to controlling for self-selection of jury or bench trial.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/380412
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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal The Journal of Legal Studies.

Volume (Year): 33 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (01)
Pages: 1-36

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:33:y:2004:p:1-36
DOI: 10.1086/380412
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLS/

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  1. Helland, Eric & Tabarrok, Alexander T, 2000. "Runaway Judges? Selection Effects and the Jury," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 306-33, October.
  2. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  3. Polinsky, A Mitchell, 1997. "Are Punitive Damages Really Insignificant, Predictable, and Rational? A Comment on Eisenberg et al," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 663-77, June.
  4. Eisenberg, Theodore, et al, 1997. "The Predictability of Punitive Damages," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 623-61, June.
  5. Eric Helland & Alexander Taberrok, . "Runaway Judges? Selection Effects and the Jury," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2000-10, Claremont Colleges.
  6. George L. Priest & Benjamin Klein, 1984. "The Selection of Disputes for Litigation," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 1-56, January.
  7. Karpoff, Jonathan M & Lott, John R, Jr, 1999. "On the Determinants and Importance of Punitive Damage Awards," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(1), pages 527-73, April.
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