Tort Law and Economics: Theoretical versus Empirical Approach
PhD student: Mrs A. Guerra
Promotor: Prof L.T. Visscher
Duration: 1/9/2012 - 31/8/2015
PhD defence: Rotterdam, 8/12/2015
Models of tort law are generally used to explore the effects of liability rules on individual precautionary incentives. Over the past
40 years, tort scholars have exhaustively enhanced our theoretical understanding of liability rules from different angles and perspectives. Even though tort law and economics is one of the most well-developed applications of economic methodology in the study of law, the process of highlighting its basic assumptions and concepts is still incomplete.
This thesis addresses four major questions related to the economic analysis of tort law where additional research is needed:
1. Activity Levels and Residual Liability. Under which conditions loss-sharing rules are more efficient than all-or-nothing based rules in providing optimal activity-level incentives between faultless parties.
2. New Technologies and Liability. Whether current liability regimes and insurance systems are suited to accommodate the introduction of new technologies.
3. Experimental Evidence. Whether theoretical predictions of tort models are confirmed by individuals\' actual behaviors.
4. Judicial Performance and Tort Litigation (in Appendix). To what extent judicial performance can undermine the deterrent function of tort law.