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Liability Rules and Evolutionay Dynamics


  • Mingli Zheng

    (university of Toronto)


We consider the convergence properties of behavior under a comparative negligence rule (CN) and under a rule of negligence with contributory negligence (NCN), assuming bilateral care with three care levels. Using an evolutionary model, we show that CN reduces the proportion of the population using low care more rapidly than does NCN. However NCN increases the proportion of the population using high (efficient) care more rapidly than does CN. As a result, the mean care level increases more rapidly and the mean social cost falls more rapidly under CN than under NCN.

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  • Mingli Zheng, 2003. "Liability Rules and Evolutionay Dynamics," Law and Economics 0312001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwple:0312001
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on win98; pages: 32. Published in Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 157 (4) Dec 2001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Steven Shavell, 2003. "Economic Analysis of Accident Law," NBER Working Papers 9483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Rea, Samuel Jr., 1987. "The economics of comparative negligence," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 149-162, December.
    3. Arlen, Jennifer H, 1992. "Liability for Physical Injury When Injurers as Well as Victims Suffer Losses," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 411-426, April.
    4. Wittman, Donald & Friedman, Daniel & Crevier, Stephanie & Braskin, Aaron, 1997. "Learning Liability Rules," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 145-164, January.
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    More about this item


    tort law; evolutionary game; liability rules; economic analysis of law;

    JEL classification:

    • K - Law and Economics
    • C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods

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