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The Equivalence of Strict Liability and Negligence Rule: A "Trompe l'oeil" Perspective

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  • Gérard Mondello

Abstract

This paper analyzes the difficulties of comparing the respective effectiveness of two among the most important liability regimes in tort law: rule of negligence and strict liability. Starting from the standard Shavellian unilateral accident scheme, I show that matching up liability regime on their capacity to provide the highest level of safety is ineffective. This demonstration lies on two components. The first one gathers some results drawn from literature that introduces uncertainty. The second one takes into consideration the beliefs of agents and their aversion to ambiguity. The model applies uncertainty to the level of maximum damage. This demonstration reinforces the previous result. Hence, both regime applies on specific tort question and comparing their individual efficiency needs to call for other components as the transaction costs associated to the burden of evidence, the fairness between victims and injurers, etc.

Suggested Citation

  • Gérard Mondello, 2012. "The Equivalence of Strict Liability and Negligence Rule: A "Trompe l'oeil" Perspective," GREDEG Working Papers 2012-03, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:gre:wpaper:2012-03
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Newman, Harry A. & Wright, David W., 1990. "Strict liability in a principal-agent model," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 219-231, December.
    2. Demougin, Dominique & Fluet, Claude, 1999. "A further justification for the negligence rule," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 33-45, March.
    3. T. Randolph Beard, 1990. "Bankruptcy and Care Choice," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(4), pages 626-634, Winter.
    4. Steven Shavell, 1984. "A Model of the Optimal Use of Liability and Safety Regulation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 271-280, Summer.
    5. 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.
    6. Shavell, Steven, 1987. "The Optimal Use of Nonmonetary Sanctions as a Deterrent," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 584-592, September.
    7. Steven Shavell, 1982. "On Liability and Insurance," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(1), pages 120-132, Spring.
    8. 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.
    9. Segerson, Kathleen & Tietenberg, Tom, 1992. "The structure of penalties in environmental enforcement: An economic analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 179-200, September.
    10. Chateauneuf, Alain & Eichberger, Jurgen & Grant, Simon, 2007. "Choice under uncertainty with the best and worst in mind: Neo-additive capacities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 538-567, November.
    11. Demougin, Dominique & Fluet, Claude, 2001. "Monitoring versus incentives," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1741-1764, October.
    12. Kaplow, Louis & Shavell, Steven, 2002. "Economic analysis of law," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 25, pages 1661-1784 Elsevier.
    13. Mattiacci, Giuseppe Dari & Parisi, Francesco, 2003. "The cost of delegated control: vicarious liability, secondary liability and mandatory insurance," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 453-475, December.
    14. Shavell, Steven, 1985. "Uncertainty over Causation and the Determination of Civil Liability," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(3), pages 587-609, October.
    15. Shavell, Steven, 1992. "Liability and the Incentive to Obtain Information about Risk," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 259-270, June.
    16. Camerer, Colin & Weber, Martin, 1992. "Recent Developments in Modeling Preferences: Uncertainty and Ambiguity," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 325-370, October.
    17. Joshua C. Teitelbaum, 2007. "A Unilateral Accident Model under Ambiguity," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 431-477, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gérard Mondello, 2017. "Un modèle d'accident unilatéral: incertitude non-radicale et estimations différenciées," GREDEG Working Papers 2017-12, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Strict liability; Negligence rule; Ambiguity theory; Uncertainty; Accident Model;

    JEL classification:

    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General
    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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