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A Note on the Social versus Private Value of Suits when Care is Bilateral

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  • Thomas J. Miceli

    (University of Connecticut)

Abstract

This paper re-examines the social versus private value of lawsuits when both injurers and victims can take care. The basic conclusions of that literature remain valid in this context: the private and social values generally differ, and there is no necessary relationship between them, meaning that there may be either too many or too few suits. Introducing the possibility of victim care does, however, alter the calculation of the deterrent effect of lawsuits. In particular, because allowing suits tends to reduce the incentives for victims to invest in precaution, the social value of prohibiting suits increases in direct relation to the productivity of victim care in lowering accident risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas J. Miceli, 2008. "A Note on the Social versus Private Value of Suits when Care is Bilateral," Working papers 2008-13, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2008-13
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    File URL: http://web2.uconn.edu/economics/working/2008-13.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Yeon-Koo Che, 1991. "Decoupling Liability: Optimal Incentives for Care and Litigation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(4), pages 562-570, Winter.
    2. Polinsky, A Mitchell & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1988. "The Welfare Implications of Costly Litigation for the Level of Liability," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 151-164, January.
    3. Shavell, Steven, 1999. "The level of litigation: private versus social optimality of suit and of settlement," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 99-115, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Accidents; deterrence; lawsuits; litigation costs; social versus private value;

    JEL classification:

    • K13 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Tort Law and Product Liability; Forensic Economics
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process

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