Soft Regulators, though judges
Judges have a tendency to be more demanding than regulators. In the United States, a majority of the courts has adopted the rule that the unexcused violation of a statutory standard is negligence per se. However, the converse does not hold: compliance with regulation does not relieve the injurer of tort liability. In most European legal systems, the outcome is similar. We use a framework in which, on the one hand, the effects of tort law are undermined by insolvency and evidence problems and, on the other hand, regulation is expensive in terms of monitoring and information gathering. We show that a regulatory standard set below the socially optimal level of care can be sufficient to remove the shortcomings of tort law. In essence, this is because the injurerâ€™s cost function may have two local minima that make only major deviations from the socially desirable level of precaution advantageous for the injurer, but not minor violations. This may occur when precaution also or only reduces the magnitude of the harm and under liability for negligence.Thus, minimum regulation can completely restore optimal liability incentives. Conversely, liability reduces the cost of enforcing regulation in two ways: first, enforcing minimum regulation rather than a standard set at the socially optimal level is cheaper because it requires lower monitoring levels; second, tort liability already provides a part of the sanction for sub-optimal behavior, thus allowing for a further reduction in monitoring.Moreover, we show that minimum regulation does not need to be set at a very precise level. On the contrary, any level within a certain range is socially optimal. This allows regulators to further curb their cost by saving on information gathering.We show that an imperfectly working tort system can be fully corrected by minimum regulation in a variety of circumstances (for instance, even if the injurer is unable to compensate for the harm at the optimal level of precaution, and even if the rule in force is strict liability or a cause-in-fact variant of negligence).
|Date of creation:||Mar 2005|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: P.O. Box 80125, NL-3508 TC Utrecht|
Phone: +31 30 253 9800
Fax: +31 30 253 7373
Web page: http://www.uu.nl/EN/faculties/leg/organisation/schools/schoolofeconomicsuse/Pages/default.aspx
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Email: |
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Trebilcock, Michael & Winter, Ralph A., 1997. "The economics of nuclear accident law," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 215-243, June.
- G. Dari Mattiacci & G.G.A. de Geest, 2004.
"When Will Judgment Proof Injurers Take Too Much Precaution?,"
04-27, Utrecht School of Economics.
- Dari-Mattiacci, Giuseppe & De Geest, Gerrit, 2006. "When will judgment proof injurers take too much precaution?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 336-354, September.
- Giuseppe Dari Mattiacci & Gerrit De Geest, . "When Will Judgment Proof Injurers Take Too Much Precaution?," German Working Papers in Law and Economics 2002-1-1051, Berkeley Electronic Press.
- Shavell, S., 1986. "The judgment proof problem," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 45-58, June.
- Burrows, Paul, 1999. "Combining regulation and legal liability for the control of external costs," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 227-244, June.
- 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.
- Polinsky, A. Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1984.
"The optimal use of fines and imprisonment,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 89-99, June.
- Schmitz, Patrick W., 2000.
"On the joint use of liability and safety regulation,"
International Review of Law and Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 371-382, September.
- Schmitz, Patrick W., 2000. "On the Joint Use of Liability and Safety Regulation," MPRA Paper 12536, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Kolstad, Charles D & Ulen, Thomas S & Johnson, Gary V, 1990. "Ex Post Liability for Harm vs. Ex Ante Safety Regulation: Substitutes or Complements?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 888-901, September.
- Richard MacMinn, 2002. "On the Judgment Proof Problem," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics (The Geneva Association), vol. 27(2), pages 143-152, December.
- Steven Shavell, 1984. "A Model of the Optimal Use of Liability and Safety Regulation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 271-280, Summer.
- Thomas J. Miceli & Kathleen Segerson, 2001.
"A Note on Optimal Care by Wealth-Constrained Injurers,"
2002-44, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised May 2002.
- Miceli, Thomas J. & Segerson, Kathleen, 2003. "A note on optimal care by wealth-constrained injurers," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 273-284, September.
- Hiriart, Yolande & Martimort, David & Pouyet, Jérôme, 2004.
"On the Optimal Use of Ex Ante Regulation and Ex Post Liability,"
IDEI Working Papers
274, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- Hiriart, Yolande & Martimort, David & Pouyet, Jerome, 2004. "On the optimal use of ex ante regulation and ex post liability," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 231-235, August.
- Viscusi, W Kip, 1988. "Product Liability and Regulation: Establishing the Appropriate Institutional Division of Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 300-304, May.
- Boyd, James & Ingberman, Daniel E, 1994. "Noncompensatory Damages and Potential Insolvency," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 895-910, June.
- Ehrlich, Isaac & Becker, Gary S, 1972. "Market Insurance, Self-Insurance, and Self-Protection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(4), pages 623-48, July-Aug..
- Marcel Boyer & Donatella Porrini, 2004.
"Modelling the choice between regulation and liability in terms of social welfare,"
Canadian Journal of Economics,
Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(3), pages 590-612, August.
- Marcel Boyer & Donatella Porrini, 2002. "Modeling the Choice Between Regulation and Liability in Terms of Social Welfare," CIRANO Working Papers 2002s-13, CIRANO.
- 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.
- Steven Shavell, 2003.
"Economic Analysis of Accident Law,"
NBER Working Papers
9483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Steven Shavell, 1983. "Liability for Harm Versus Regulation of Safety," NBER Working Papers 1218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- T. Randolph Beard, 1990. "Bankruptcy and Care Choice," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(4), pages 626-634, Winter.
- Arlen, Jennifer H., 1990. "Re-examining liability rules when injurers as well as victims suffer losses," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 233-239, December.
- Guiseppe Dari Mattiaci & G.G.A. de Geest, 2003.
"Judgement Proofness under Four Different Precaution Technologies,"
03-16, Utrecht School of Economics.
- 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 38-, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:use:tkiwps:0506. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marina Muilwijk)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.