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Errors and the Functioning of Tort Liability

25 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2003  

Giuseppe Dari‐Mattiacci

Amsterdam Law School; Amsterdam Business School; Tinbergen Institute


The correct functioning of liability may be plagued by error in determining damages and in setting due care. This paper revises the literature on the topic and makes a distinction between those situations in which these two types of errors occur irrespective of each other and those in which they occur jointly. Three liability rules are considered: strict liability, the standard version of simple negligence without causation rule and the Grady-Kahan model of simple negligence with causation rule. It is shown that these liability rules perform differently only if the two types of errors occur separately. If they occur jointly, all liability rules yield the same equilibrium level of precaution.

Keywords: tort, negligence, strict liability, causation

JEL Classification: K13

Suggested Citation

Dari‐Mattiacci, Giuseppe, Errors and the Functioning of Tort Liability. George Mason University Law & Economics, Research Paper Series No. 3-40; Supreme Court Economic Review, Vol. 13, No. , 2005. Available at SSRN: or

Amsterdam Business School ( email )

Roetersstraat 18
Amsterdam, 1018WB

Tinbergen Institute

Gustav Mahlerplein 117
Amsterdam, 1082 MS

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