IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/uca/ucaiel/1.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Costs of Class Actions: Allocation and Collective Redress in the U.S. Experience

Author

Listed:
  • Calabresi, Guido
  • Schwartz, Kevin S.

Abstract

Once a preserve of the American legal landscape, the class action device today transcends geographic boundaries. In the past decade, efforts have intensified to establish collective litigation instruments in diverse legal terrains outside the United States - including Europe - often with the common goal of allowing some form of collective legal redress while avoiding perceived disadvantages of class actions in the American experience. Today more than ever, from legislators to litigants to scholars, European reformers face the challenge - and the opportunity - of making fundamental choices about the scope and shape of the collective legal remedies they wish to make available. Choices about the shape of the class action device reflect foundational judgments about the proper allocation of costs, and there is much from the U.S. experience that can inform Europe's prospective reformers. This article describes the history and current status of class action rules in the U.S., and then compares class actions and another form of extra-compensatory damages - one type of punitive damages - as means of doing the same thing. Although neither punitive damages of this sort nor class actions generally have traditionally existed in civil law systems, they both - and especially this particular form of punitive damages - can, from an economic view, be made to vindicate the same kind of social cost accounting goals. By considering these legal devices together, we hope to shed light on crucial choices facing Europe as it grapples with how best to provide collective legal redress in light of the lessons of the U.S. experience with class actions.

Suggested Citation

  • Calabresi, Guido & Schwartz, Kevin S., 2011. "The Costs of Class Actions: Allocation and Collective Redress in the U.S. Experience," IEL Working Papers 1, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
  • Handle: RePEc:uca:ucaiel:1
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://polis.unipmn.it/pubbl/RePEc/uca/ucaiel/iel001.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Ramello, Giovanni B., 2012. "Aggregate litigation and regulatory innovation: Another view of judicial efficiency," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 63-71.
    2. repec:kap:ejlwec:v:44:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10657-017-9568-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Juergen Backhaus & Alberto Cassone & Giovanni Ramello, 2011. "The law and economics of class actions," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 165-168, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Class actions; Collective legal redress; Punitive damages; Extra-compensatory damages; Allocation of costs; Deterrence;

    JEL classification:

    • K00 - Law and Economics - - General - - - General (including Data Sources and Description)

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:uca:ucaiel:1. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lucia Padovani). General contact details of provider: http://polis.unipmn.it .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.