Preponderance of Evidence

32 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2002

See all articles by Dominique Demougin

Dominique Demougin

EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht - EBS Business School - Department of Governance & Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Claude Fluet

Université Laval

Date Written: May 2002

Abstract

This paper analyzes the incentive properties of the standard and burden of proof for a finding of negligence, when evidence is imperfect and rests with the parties. We show that the "preponderance of evidence" standard provides maximal incentives to exert care. This holds even though litigants may have unequal access to evidence and distort information. The optimal assignment of the burden of proof follows from the principle underlying the standard of proof. Our main results are derived in a mechanism design framework, but we also consider implementation as a sequential equilibrium with the court as a player in the game.

Keywords: Negligence, Standard of Proof, Tort Rules, Burden of Proof, Deterrence

JEL Classification: D8, K4

Suggested Citation

Demougin, Dominique and Fluet, Claude-Denys, Preponderance of Evidence (May 2002). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=316767 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.316767

Dominique Demougin (Contact Author)

EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht - EBS Business School - Department of Governance & Economics ( email )

International University Schloss Reichartshausen
Campus Wiesbaden, Soehnleinstrasse 8A
Wiesbaden, 65201
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Muenchen, 81679
Germany

Claude-Denys Fluet

Université Laval ( email )

2214 Pavillon J-A. DeSeve
Quebec, Quebec G1K 7P4
Canada
1-418-656-2131, ext 3290 (Phone)

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