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Environmental Liability and Regulation: An Empirical Study of the French Institutional Division of Labour

  • Pierre Bentata

    ()

    (CERGAM-CAE, Aix-Marseille Université)

  • Karim Barkat

    ()

    (CERGAM-CAE, Aix-Marseille Université)

Reasons for the joint use of ex ante regulation and ex post 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 support a general trend toward a clear division of labour between regulation and liability: when both are jointly used, liability encourages aspects of care that are difficult to regulate, 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.

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Paper provided by Aix-Marseille Université, CERGAM in its series CAE Working Papers with number 98.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cgm:wpaper:98
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  1. Vera Angelova & Giuseppe Attanasi & Yolande Hiriart, 2012. "Relative Performance of Liability Rules: Experimental Evidence," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-012, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  2. Hiriart, Yolande & Martimort, David & Pouyet, Jerome, 2004. "On the optimal use of ex ante regulation and ex post liability," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 231-235, August.
  3. Yolande Hiriart & David Martimort & Jerome Pouyet, 2010. "The Public Management of Risk: Separating Ex Ante and Ex Post Monitors," Working Papers 2010.144, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  4. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2000. "On the joint use of liability and safety regulation," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 371-382, September.
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