The Significant Association between Punitive and Compensatory Damages in Blockbuster Cases: A Methodological Primer

Posted: 11 Jun 2007

See all articles by Martin T. Wells

Martin T. Wells

Cornell University - Law School

Theodore Eisenberg

Cornell University, Law School (Deceased)

Abstract

This article assesses the relation between punitive and compensatory damages in a data set, gathered by Hersch and Viscusi (H-V), consisting of all known punitive damages awards in excess of $100 million from 1985 through 2003. It shows that a strong, statistically significant relation exists between punitive and compensatory awards, a relation that replicates similar findings in nearly all other analyses of punitive and compensatory damages. H-V's claim that no significant relation exists between punitive and compensatory awards in these data appears to be an artifact of questionable regression methodology.

Keywords: punitive damages, regression

JEL Classification: C10, K00, K40, K41

Suggested Citation

Wells, Martin T. and Eisenberg, Theodore, The Significant Association between Punitive and Compensatory Damages in Blockbuster Cases: A Methodological Primer. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Vol. 3, p. 169, 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=992460

Martin T. Wells

Cornell University - Law School ( email )

Comstock Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-255-8801 (Phone)

Theodore Eisenberg (Contact Author)

Cornell University, Law School (Deceased) ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States

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