Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Failure of Decoupling Liability and Other Mistakes in Tort Law

baffi, enrico (2012): The Failure of Decoupling Liability and Other Mistakes in Tort Law.

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Abstract

In this paper I want to demonstrate that it is not possible, with traditional liability rules, to have one party that takes an efficient level of precaution. Both parties, whaever is the rule, take an excessive level of precaution. The problem is that, when we try to calculate the costs of an activity, we dconsider also the cost of precaution of the other party, but this is not usually done. Also the introduction of a tax (the solution called as "decoupling liability") does not solve the problem because the party who pays the tax does not consider the cost of precaution of the other party. This way of reasoning is instead wrog in unilateral accident where a party does not take precautions. In this case an efficient level of activity is reached. Due to these considerations some traditional conclusions about tort liabiity should be reconsidered

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