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The Economics of Tort Law:Basics and Selected Core Themes

Abstract

Life is pervaded by risks of suffering harm to property or personal well-being. An obvious example in everyday life is commuting to work; be it by car, train, or bicycle. Often, discretion to reduce the probability of harm is outside the personal realm; instead it lies in the hands of others. For instance, the probability of suffering harm as a cyclist in an accident is very much affected by the way fellow citizens drive their cars. Tort law deals with situations such as this one. Specifically, it addresses relations between people that are not regulated by private agreement due to high transaction costs broadly conceived (Cooter and Ulen 2004:310).1 In contexts of high transaction costs, the allocation of legal entitlements is critical for eficiency (Coase 1960). However, whether tort law purports to aim at effciency is open to question.

Keywords

Strict Liability Punitive Damage Liability Insurance Liability Rule Accident Probability 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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