The Cost of Delegated Control: Vicarious Liability, Secondary Liability and Mandatory Insurance

29 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2003

See all articles by Giuseppe Dari‐Mattiacci

Giuseppe Dari‐Mattiacci

University of Amsterdam; Tinbergen Institute

Francesco Parisi

University of Minnesota - Law School; University of Bologna


Vicarious liability, secondary liability and mandatory insurance are three systems to attain judgment-proof or disappearing injurers' precaution through the direct control of a second party (the vicariously liable principal, the secondary liable party, or the insurer). In this way, the legal system delegates control over some injurers to private entities. Such mechanisms generate monitoring costs. In this paper, we consider who bears the cost of such monitoring and the effect thereof on the equilibrium level of precautions under different liability rules. We use these findings to explain some of the patterns in the coupling of substantive standards of liability and legal regimes of delegated control.

Keywords: vicarious liability, secondary liability, insurance, negligence

JEL Classification: K13

Suggested Citation

Dari-Mattiacci, Giuseppe and Parisi, Francesco, The Cost of Delegated Control: Vicarious Liability, Secondary Liability and Mandatory Insurance. International Review of Law and Economics, Vol. 23, No. 4, pp. 453-475, December 2003, George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 02-27, Available at SSRN: or

Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Postbus 15654
1001 ND
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland 1001 ND

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA

Francesco Parisi

University of Minnesota - Law School ( email )

229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

University of Bologna ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 1
40126 Bologna, fc 47100

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics