Torts in Which Victim and Injurer Act Sequentially

53 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2002 Last revised: 28 Jul 2010

See all articles by Steven Shavell

Steven Shavell

Harvard Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: July 1982

Abstract

The effect of liability rules on accident avoidance is studied in two types of situations in which potential victims and potential injurers act sequentially: those where victims act first and injurers second; and those where the reverse is true. What is of special interest about the working of liability rules in such sequential situations is that the party who acts second behaves in response to the party who acts first, and that the party who acts first takes this into account. The major result shown is that liability rules induce optimal behavior provided that they lead the party who acts second to act optimally if and only if the first party did so. In an important extension of the basic model considered, however, this result may not hold.

Suggested Citation

Shavell, Steven, Torts in Which Victim and Injurer Act Sequentially (July 1982). NBER Working Paper No. w0939. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=300721

Steven Shavell (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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