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Double-edged torts

Barbara Luppi (), Francesco Parisi () and Daniel Pi

International Review of Law and Economics, 2016, vol. 46, issue C, 43-48

Abstract: Many tort cases are characterized by two interrelated elements: “role uncertainty”, which occurs when individuals take precautions ignorant of their roles in future accidents and availability of “dual-effect precautions”, which reduce both the probability of an individual becoming an injurer and the probability that the same individual will become a victim of someone else's negligence. In this paper, we extend the traditional model to account for role-uncertainty and dual-effect precautions. We find that in these situations, the traditional formulation of Negligence fails to incentivize efficient precautions, inducing excessive role-specific precautions and insufficient dual-effect precautions. For such cases, we argue for a modification of the standard of due care that accounts for the full benefit of dual-effect precautions, in order to incentivize efficient precautionary efforts.

Keywords: Role-uncertainty; Dual-effect precautions; Precaution externalities; Restatement (Third) of Torts (2010) §3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K13 K32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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DOI: 10.1016/j.irle.2015.10.003

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