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When Will Judgment Proof Injurers Take Too Much Precaution?

Author

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  • G. Dari Mattiacci
  • G.G.A. de Geest

Abstract

This article identifies the conditions under which potentially insolvent injurers over-invest in precaution. We show that this may happen only with respect to precautionary measures that reduce the probability of the accident. No such result occurs if precaution only reduces the magnitude of the harm. Contrary to the literature, we find that over-precaution may also occur when precaution is non-monetary. The reason being is that over-precaution can not only be due to the implicit precaution-subsidy effect (the fact that care-taking reduces the injurer’s exposure to liability when precaution is monetary) but also to a substitution effect between precaution that reduces the probability of accidents and precaution that reduces the magnitude of the harm. Finally, we find that when the injurer’s wealth is sufficiently low, precautions may actually be lower when they are monetary than when they are non-monetary, despite the implicit precaution subsidy in the former case.

Suggested Citation

  • G. Dari Mattiacci & G.G.A. de Geest, 2004. "When Will Judgment Proof Injurers Take Too Much Precaution?," Working Papers 04-27, Utrecht School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:use:tkiwps:0427
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    File URL: https://dspace.library.uu.nl/bitstream/handle/1874/7388/04-27.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    10. Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci & Gerrit De Geest, 2005. "Judgment Proofness under Four Different Precaution Technologies," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 161(1), pages 1-38, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nussim, Jacob & Tabbach, Avraham D., 2009. "A revised model of unilateral accidents," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 169-177, June.
    2. Julien Jacob & Sandrine Spaeter, 2016. "Large-Scale Risks and Technological Change: What About Limited Liability?," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 18(1), pages 125-142, February.
    3. Nicolas Lampach & Kene Boun My & Sandrine Spaeter, 2016. "Risk, Ambiguity and Efficient Liability Rules: An experiment," Working Papers of BETA 2016-30, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    4. Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci & Gerrit De Geest, 2005. "Judgment Proofness under Four Different Precaution Technologies," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 161(1), pages 1-38, March.
    5. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:11:y:2006:i:1:p:1-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Nicolas Lampach & Sandrine Spaeter, 2016. "The Efficiency of (strict) Liability Rules revised in Risk and Ambiguity," Working Papers of BETA 2016-29, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    7. Gérard Mondello, 2012. "Strict Liability, Capped Strict Liability, and Care Effort under Asymmetric Information," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 168(2), pages 232-251, June.
    8. Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci, 2006. "Limiting Limited Liability," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 11(1), pages 1-7.
    9. Nuno Garoupa & Thomas S. Ulen, 2013. "The economics of activity levels in tort liability and regulation," Chapters,in: Research Handbook on Economic Models of Law, chapter 2, pages 33-53 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Tim Friehe, 2008. "On judgment proofness in the case of bilateral harm," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 175-185, October.
    11. G.G.A. de Geest & G. Dari Mattiacci, 2005. "Soft Regulators, though judges," Working Papers 05-06, Utrecht School of Economics.
    12. Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci & Barbara M. Mangan, 2008. "Disappearing Defendants versus Judgment-Proof Injurers," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(300), pages 749-765, November.
    13. Tim Friehe, 2007. "A note on judgment proofness and risk aversion," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 109-118, October.
    14. Juan José Ganuza & Fernando Gómez, 2003. "Optimal negligence rule under limited liability," Economics Working Papers 759, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 2004.
    15. van 't Veld, Klaas & Hutchinson, Emma, 2009. "Excessive spending by firms to avoid accidents: Is it a concern in practice?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 324-335, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    insolvency; judgement; liability; bankruptcy; over precaution;

    JEL classification:

    • K13 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Tort Law and Product Liability; Forensic Economics
    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law

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