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Class action and financial markets: Insights from law and economics

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  • Ramello, Giovanni B.

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  • Porrini, Donatella

Abstract

According to the law and economics approach, pure economic loss is a private loss that is not socially relevant but simply implies a redistribution of wealth. Consequently, wrongful behavior that induces reallocation of costs and benefits with no consequences on social welfare is not considered socially harmful, so is not necessarily subject to compensation. Since pure economic loss is very often financial, the above reasoning also applies to financial markets. However, the same law and economics arguments suggest that in financial markets, the policy of internalizing pure economic loss by means of class actions can be more far-sighted than simply compensating the victims: the liability system has the particular feature of producing deterrence and driving the market towards an efficient outcome. In this vein, the paper argues that class action intended as a complementary ex-post regulatory device can play a significant role in addressing a failure that ex-ante regulation has not. This is coherent with the law and economics tradition that interprets tort law remedies as a solution for internalizing externality and providing the correct incentive to the markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Ramello, Giovanni B. & Porrini, Donatella, 2010. "Class action and financial markets: Insights from law and economics," POLIS Working Papers 143, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
  • Handle: RePEc:uca:ucapdv:143
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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. Alberto Cassone & Giovanni Ramello, 2011. "The simple economics of class action: private provision of club and public goods," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 205-224, October.
    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 action; pure economic loss; regulation; liability; deterrence;

    JEL classification:

    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process
    • K13 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Tort Law and Product Liability; Forensic Economics
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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