Tort Theory and the Restatement, in Retrospect

27 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2023 Last revised: 14 Apr 2023

See all articles by Keith N. Hylton

Keith N. Hylton

Boston University - School of Law

Date Written: March 20, 2023

Abstract

This is my third paper on the Restatement (Third) of Torts. In my first paper, The Theory of Tort Doctrine and the Restatement (Third) of Torts, I offered a positive economic theory of the tort doctrine that had been presented in the Restatement (Third) of Torts: General Principles, and also an optimistic vision of how positive theoretical analysis could be integrated with the Restatement project. In my second paper, The Economics of the Restatement and of the Common Law, I set out the utilitarian-economic theory of how the common law litigation process could generate optimal (efficient, wealth-maximizing) rules and compared that process to the process by which the Restatement identifies and articulates rules. In this paper, I am looking back and assessing the connection between positive tort theory and the Restatement. My general argument is that positive tort theory has been successful in explaining the grounds for the common law of torts, and at the same time it remains an underutilized and underexploited resource for the Restatement project.

Keywords: common law, Restatement, negligence, positive tort theory, economics of torts

JEL Classification: K00, K13, K15

Suggested Citation

Hylton, Keith N., Tort Theory and the Restatement, in Retrospect (March 20, 2023). Boston Univ. School of Law Research Paper No. 23-16, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4394649 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4394649

Keith N. Hylton (Contact Author)

Boston University - School of Law ( email )

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