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Rules of proof, courts, and incentives

Dominique Demougin () and Claude Fluet

RAND Journal of Economics, 2008, vol. 39, issue 1, 20-40

Abstract: We analyze the design of legal principles and procedures for court decision making in civil litigation. The objective is the provision of incentives for potential tort‐feasors to exert care when evidence is imperfect and may be distorted by the parties. Efficiency is consistent with courts adjudicating on the basis of the preponderance of evidence standard together with common law exclusionary rules. Inefficient equilibria may nevertheless also arise under these rules. Burden of proof guidelines are then useful as a coordination device. Alternatively, guidelines are unnecessary if courts are allowed a more active or inquisitorial role in contrast to that of passive adjudicator.

Date: 2008
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Working Paper: Rules of Proof, Courts, and Incentives (2007) Downloads
Working Paper: Rules of Proof, Courts, and Incentives (2006) Downloads
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