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Efficient Standards of Due Care: Should Courts Find More Parties Negligent Under Comparative Negligence?

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  • Aaron S. Edlin.

Abstract

We show that negligence standards should differ under comparative and contributory negligence regimes. If due care standards are allowed to vary with the laws of a jurisdiction, then comparative and contributory negligence may be equally efficient, even in a model with evidentiary uncertainty. It is commonly observed that jurors are naturally inclined to be more lenient to plaintiffs on the issue of plaintiff negligence in contributory negligence jurisdictions. We show that such lenience may actually be efficient in addition to satisfying jurors' senses of equity. A similar conclusion applies to defendants.

Suggested Citation

  • Aaron S. Edlin., 1993. "Efficient Standards of Due Care: Should Courts Find More Parties Negligent Under Comparative Negligence?," Economics Working Papers 93-218, University of California at Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucb:calbwp:93-218
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    Cited by:

    1. Parisi Francesco & Singh Ram, 2010. "The Efficiency of Comparative Causation," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 219-245, September.
    2. Marie-Cécile Fagart & Claude Fluet, 2009. "Liability insurance under the negligence rule," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(3), pages 486-508.
    3. Anja Olbrich, 2004. "Der Einfluss von Haftungsunsicherheit auf den Sorgfaltsstandard," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 73(4), pages 567-574.
    4. Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci & Gerrit De Geest, 2005. "The Filtering Effect of Sharing Rules," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 207-237, January.
    5. Steven Shavell, 2005. "Liability for Accidents," NBER Working Papers 11781, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Fluet, Claude, 2010. "Liability rules under evidentiary uncertainty," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 1-9, March.
    7. Singh, Ram, 2007. "‘Causation-consistent’ liability, economic efficiency and the law of torts," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 179-203.
    8. Ram Singh, 2006. "On the Existence and Efficiency of Equilibria under Liability Rules," Working papers 150, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    9. Innes, Robert, 2004. "Enforcement costs, optimal sanctions, and the choice between ex-post liability and ex-ante regulation," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 29-48, March.
    10. Anja Olbrich, 2008. "The optimal negligence standard in health care under supply-side cost sharing," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 73-85, June.
    11. Ram Singh, 2005. "Comparative Causation -- A Re-examination," Working papers 139, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    12. Kim, Jeonghyun & Feldman, Allan M., 2006. "Victim or injurer, small car or SUV: Tort liability rules under role-type uncertainty," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 455-477, December.
    13. Olbrich, Anja, 2008. "Heterogeneous physicians, lawsuit costs, and the negligence rule," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 78-88, March.
    14. FRANCESCO PARISI & Ram Singh, 2009. "Efficiency Of Equilibria Under Comparative Causation," Working papers 179, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    15. Nathan Berg & Jeong-Yoo Kim, 2013. "Prohibition of Riba and Gharar: A signaling and screening explanation?," Working Papers 1314, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2013.

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