Unpacking Negligence Liability: Experimentally Testing the Governance Effect

37 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2016

See all articles by Theodore Eisenberg

Theodore Eisenberg

Cornell University, Law School (Deceased)

Christoph Engel

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Bonn - Faculty of Law & Economics; Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics, Students; Universität Osnabrück - Faculty of Law

Date Written: March 2016

Abstract

Arguably, if a court holds a defendant liable for negligently inflicting harm on the plaintiff, this intervention combines three effects: (1) the court specifies the normative expectation, (2) the court expresses dissatisfaction with the plaintiff's behavior, for example, her level of activity, and (3) the court obliges the defendant to compensate the plaintiff. In the field, it would be close to impossible to disentangle the three effects, or to investigate how they interact with intrinsic reticence to inflict harm on a passive outsider. We therefore go to the lab. We do not find an effect of intrinsic morality. However, the intervention has a separate significant effect on each of the three channels.

Suggested Citation

Eisenberg, Theodore and Engel, Christoph, Unpacking Negligence Liability: Experimentally Testing the Governance Effect (March 2016). Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Vol. 13, Issue 1, pp. 116-152, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2729558 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jels.12099

Theodore Eisenberg (Contact Author)

Cornell University, Law School (Deceased) ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States

Christoph Engel

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany
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University of Bonn - Faculty of Law & Economics

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Germany

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics, Students ( email )

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PO Box 1738
Rotterdam
Netherlands

Universität Osnabrück - Faculty of Law

Osnabruck, D-49069
Germany

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