60 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2017
Date Written: September 5, 2017
Spite is not a simple concept. The same actions may be motivated by a desire to harm others as a source of the actor’s satisfaction. They may also be a reaction to a personal sense of injustice. Finally, spite-like actions are consistent with simply righting a wrong. This Article makes the case that spite, in its worst from, is comparably to theft. It is a taking of someone’s sense of well-being without consent. It also claims that the purchase of positional goods is ultimately spite driven. It canvasses tort law, contracts, tax law, trademark, and criminal law in an effort to assess the reaction of the law to spite.
Keywords: spite, contract law, tort law, trademark, tax policy, economics, theft, ultimatum game, cooperation
JEL Classification: K12, K13, K34, K36
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Harrison, Jeffrey Lynch, Spite: Legal and Social Implications (September 5, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3032677