Rules of Proof, Courts, and Incentives

RAND Journal of Economics, Vol. 39, No. 1, pp. 20-40, 2008

1 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2006 Last revised: 18 Aug 2009

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: 2007

Abstract

We analyze the design of legal principles and procedures for court decision-making in civil litigation. The objective is the provision of appropriate incentives for potential tort-feasors to exert care, when evidence about care is imperfect and may be distorted by the parties. Efficiency is shown to be consistent with courts adjudicating on the basis of the preponderance of evidence standard of proof together with common law exclusionary rules. Inefficient equilibria may nevertheless also arise under these rules. Directing courts as to the assignment of the burden of proof is then useful as a coordination device. Alternatively, burden of proof guidelines are unnecessary if courts are allowed a more active or inquisitorial role, by contrast with that of passive adjudicator.

Keywords: Evidentiary rules, standard of proof, burden of proof, inquisitorial, adversarial, discovery, deterrence

JEL Classification: D8, K4

Suggested Citation

Demougin, Dominique and Fluet, Claude-Denys, Rules of Proof, Courts, and Incentives (2007). RAND Journal of Economics, Vol. 39, No. 1, pp. 20-40, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=936399 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.936399

Dominique Demougin

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 (Contact Author)

Université Laval ( email )

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

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