On Negligence Rules and Self-Selection
Economic models of negligence ordinarily involve a single standard of care that all injurers must meet to avoid liability. When injurers differ in their costs of care, however, this leads to distortions in their care choices. This paper derives the characteristics of a generalized negligence rule that induces injurers to self-select their optimal care levels. The principal features of the rule are (1) the due standard of care is maximal, and (2) liability increases gradually as injurers depart further from this standard. The results are broadly consistent with the gradation in liability under certain causation rules and under comparative negligence.
|Date of creation:||Apr 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Note:||I acknowledge the helpful comments of Francesco Parisi, Richard Posner, Steven Shavell, and two referees.|
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- Kahan, Marcel, 1989. "Causation and Incentives to Take Care under the Negligence Rule," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 427-47, June.
- Russell Cooper, 1984. "On Allocative Distortions in Problems of Self-Selection," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 568-577, Winter.
- Oren Bar-Gill & Omri Ben-Shahar, 2003. "The Uneasy Case for Comparative Negligence," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 433-469, August.
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