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THE ECONOMICS OF PURE ECONOMIC LOSS AND THE INTERNALISATION OF MULTIPLE EXTERNALITIES

Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci

No 2003-1-1053, German Working Papers in Law and Economics from Berkeley Electronic Press

Abstract: This study emphasises the divergence between the legal approach to pure economic loss and the economic one, and focuses on the latter. Traditional economic theory is grounded on the divide between social and private loss and is employed in formulating policy recommendations for an efficient outcome. However, it fails to explain why pure economic loss cases are treated differently in different legal systems. This study suggests that pure economic loss should be regarded as the internalisation of positive externalities through a mechanism (tort law) primarily designed for negative externalities. The pure economic loss problem is a problem of choosing between secondbest solutions, because tort law generally fails to provide first-best internalisation of both types of externalities. Within this framework, some new hypotheses on the comparative law and economics of pure economic loss will be discussed.

Keywords: economic loss; financial loss; tort; damage; compensation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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