Multiple Causation, Apportionment and the Shapley Value

30 Pages Posted: 11 May 2015 Last revised: 12 May 2015

See all articles by Samuel Ferey

Samuel Ferey

University of Lorraine

Pierre Dehez

University of Louvain

Date Written: March 27, 2015


Multiple causation is one of the most intricate issues in contemporary tort law. Sharing a loss suffered by a victim among multiple tortfeasors is indeed difficult and Courts do not always follow clear and consistent principles. Here, we argue that the axiomatic approach provided by the theory of cooperative games can be used to clarify that issue. We have considered the question from a purely game theoretic point of view in Dehez and Ferey (2013). Here we propose to analyze it in a legal perspective. We consider in particular the difficult case of successive causation to which we associate a general class of games called "sequential liability games". We show that our model rationalizes the two-step procedure proposed by the Restatement Third of Torts, apportionment by causation and apportionment by responsibility. More precisely, we show that the weighted Shapley value associated to a sequential liability game is the legal counterpart of this two-step procedure.

Keywords: tort law, core, Shapley value

JEL Classification: K13, C71, D63

Suggested Citation

Ferey, Samuel and Dehez, Pierre, Multiple Causation, Apportionment and the Shapley Value (March 27, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Samuel Ferey

University of Lorraine ( email )


Pierre Dehez (Contact Author)

University of Louvain ( email )

Voie du Roman Pays 34
Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348
+3210474360 (Phone)
+3210474301 (Fax)


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