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Tort Law and The Efficient Control of Externalities with Multiple Defendants

Author

Listed:
  • McKitrick, R.

Abstract

It has been widely argued that tort law can provide an effective decentralizes mechanism by which a socially optimal level of externality control can be achieved. I reconsider this argument in the very common situation in which there are multiple contributors to an incident of external damages, and the court assigns responsibility for damages based on each party's proportionate contribution to the externality. In this situation a strict liability law leads to short and long run efficiency only when the damage functioin is a straight line out of the origin.

Suggested Citation

  • McKitrick, R., 1998. "Tort Law and The Efficient Control of Externalities with Multiple Defendants," Working Papers 1998-1, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:gue:guelph:1998-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Reilly, Barry & Witt, Robert, 1998. "Petrol price asymmetries revisited," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 297-308, June.
    2. Bacon, Robert W., 1991. "Rockets and feathers: the asymmetric speed of adjustment of UK retail gasoline prices to cost changes," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 211-218, July.
    3. Hansen, Bruce E, 1996. "Inference When a Nuisance Parameter Is Not Identified under the Null Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 413-430, March.
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    6. Andrews, Donald W K & Ploberger, Werner, 1994. "Optimal Tests When a Nuisance Parameter Is Present Only under the Alternative," Econometrica, Econometric Society, pages 1383-1414.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    EXTERNALITIES ; LAW ; LIABILITY;

    JEL classification:

    • K13 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Tort Law and Product Liability; Forensic Economics
    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities

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