Author granted license

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-30-2013

Publisher

Boston University School of Law

Language

en-US

Abstract

We present a new model of negligence and causation and examine the influence of the negligence test, in the presence of intervening causation, on the level of care. In this model, the injurer’s decision to take care reduces the likelihood of an accident only in the event that some nondeterministic intervention occurs. The effects of the negligence test depend on the information available to the court, and the manner in which the test is implemented. The key effect of the negligence test, in the presence of intervening causation, is to induce actors to take into account the distribution of the intervention probability as well as its expected value. In the most plausible scenario – where courts have limited information – the test generally leads to socially excessive care.

Comments

Published as: "Negligence, Causation, and Incentives for Care," 35 International Review of Law and Economics 80 (2013).

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