Jurors, Judges, and the Mistreatment of Risk by the Courts

59 Pages Posted: 1 Sep 2000

See all articles by W. Kip Viscusi

W. Kip Viscusi

Vanderbilt University - Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Vanderbilt University - Department of Economics; Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management; Vanderbilt University - Strategy and Business Economics

Date Written: August 2000

Abstract

A sample of almost 500 jury-eligible citizens considered a series of experimental situation involving accidents. The juror sample did not properly apply negligence rules, as their errors were particularly great for low probability-large loss cases. They also penalized corporations for undertaking corporate risk analyses that seek to trade off cost versus risk reduction benefits. Jurors' damages assessments were also more prone to error than were responses by a sample of state judges. Judges were less prone to erroneous risk beliefs and less subject to the zero risk mentality.

JEL Classification: D80, J17

Suggested Citation

Viscusi, W. Kip, Jurors, Judges, and the Mistreatment of Risk by the Courts (August 2000). Harvard Law and Economics Discussion Paper No. 291. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=239970 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.239970

W. Kip Viscusi (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States
615-343-7715 (Phone)
615-322-5953 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/viscusi.htm

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Vanderbilt University - Department of Economics

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
United States
(615) 343-7715 (Phone)
(615) 343-5953 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/viscusi.htm

Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management

401 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
United States
(615) 343-7715 (Phone)
(615) 343-5953 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/viscusi.htm

Vanderbilt University - Strategy and Business Economics ( email )

Nashville, TN 37203
United States

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