Hostname: page-component-77c89778f8-7drxs Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-21T07:52:49.320Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

PROBABILISTIC CAUSATION IN EFFICIENCY-BASED LIABILITY JUDGMENTS

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 December 2014

Diego M. Papayannis*
Affiliation:
University of Girona, Spaindiegomartin.papayannis@udg.edu

Abstract

In this paper I argue that economic theories have never been able to provide a coherent explanation of the causation requirement in tort law. The economic characterization of this requirement faces insurmountable difficulties, because discourse on tort liability cannot be reduced to a cost-benefit analysis without a loss of meaning. More seriously, I try to show that by describing causation in economic terms, economic theories offer an image of the practice in which the participants incur in logical contradictions and develop patterns of inference that are far from intuitive. For this reason, efficiency cannot be the fundamental principle underlying tort law. Finally, I suggest that economic analysis of law can provide a genuine explanation of certain aspects of legal practice if it relinquishes its reductionist claims.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

WORKS CITED

Acciarri, H. 2009. La relación de causalidad y las funciones del derecho de daños: Reparación, prevención, minimización de costos sociales (Buenos Aires: Abeledo-Perrot).Google Scholar
Anderson, T., Schum, D., and Twining, W.. 2005. Analysis of Evidence. 2d ed. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
Burrows, P. 1984. “Tort and Tautology: The Logic of Restricting the Scope of Liability.” Journal of Legal Studies 13:399414.Google Scholar
Brown, J.P., 1973: “Toward an Economic Theory of Liability.” Journal of Legal Studies 2 (2):323349.Google Scholar
Calabresi, G. 1961. “Some Thoughts on Risk Distribution and the Law of Torts.” Yale Law Journal 70 (4):499553.Google Scholar
Calabresi, G.. 1970. The Costs of Accidents: A Legal and Economic Analysis (New Haven, CT, and London: Yale University Press).Google Scholar
Calabresi, G.. 1975. “Concerning Cause and the Law of Torts: An Essay for Harry Kalven, Jr.” University of Chicago Law Review 43 (1):69108.Google Scholar
Coase, R. 1960. “The Problem of Social Cost.” Journal of Law and Economics 3:144.Google Scholar
Coleman, J.L. 1992. Risks and Wrongs (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
Coleman, J.L.. 2005. “The Costs of The Costs of Accidents.” Maryland Law Review 64 (1–2):337354.Google Scholar
Cooter, R. 1987. “Torts as the Union of Liberty and Efficiency: An Essay on Causation.” Chicago-Kent Law Review 63 (3):523551.Google Scholar
Cooter, R., and Kornhauser, L.. 1980. “Can Litigation Improve the Law without the Help of Judges?Journal of Legal Studies 9 (1):139163.Google Scholar
Davidson, D. 1974. “On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme.” Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 47:520.Google Scholar
Feinberg, J. 1984. Harm to Others: The Moral Limits of the Criminal Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
Gilles, S.G. 1992. “Rule-Based Negligence and the Regulation of Activity Levels.” Journal of Legal Studies 21 (2):319363.Google Scholar
Grady, M. 1983. “A New Positive Economic Theory of Negligence.” Yale Law Journal 92:799829.Google Scholar
Grady, M.. 2009. “Unavoidable Accident.” Review of Law and Economics 5 (1):177231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Grady, M.. 2013. “Causation and Foreseeability.” In Arlen, J., ed., Research Handbook on the Economics of Torts (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar), 114148.Google Scholar
Hart, H.L.A. 1994. The Concept of Law. 2d ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press).Google Scholar
Hart, H.L.A., and Honoré, T.. 1985. Causation in the Law. 2d ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
Hempel, C.G. 1962. “Deductive Nomological vs. Statistical Explanation.” In Feigl, H. and Maxwell, G., eds., Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science. Volume 3 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press).Google Scholar
Kahan, M. 1989. “Causation and Incentives to Take Care under the Negligence Rule.” Journal of Legal Studies 18:427447.Google Scholar
Landes, W., and Posner, R.A.. 1981. “The Positive Economic Theory of Tort Law.” Georgia Law Review 15:851924.Google Scholar
Landes, W.. 1983. “Causation in Tort Law: An Economic Approach.” Journal of Legal Studies 12 (1):109134.Google Scholar
MacDonald, G., and Pettit, P.. 1981. Semantics and Social Science (London, Boston, MA, and Henley, UK: Routledge and Kegan Paul).Google Scholar
Martínez Muñoz, S.F. 1993. “La probabilidad y la causalidad.” In Ulises Moulines, C., ed., La ciencia: Estructura y desarrollo [Science: Structure and Development] (Madrid: Trotta).Google Scholar
Pantaleón, F. 1990. “Causalidad e imputación objetiva: Criterios de imputación.” In Asociación de Profesores de Derecho Civil, ed., Centenario del Código Civil (1889–1989). Volume 2 (Madrid: Editorial Centro de Estudios Ramón Areces), 15611591.Google Scholar
Papayannis, D.M. 2009. “El enfoque económico del derecho de daños.” Doxa: Cuadernos de filosofía del derecho 32:459496.Google Scholar
Papayannis, D.M.. 2013. “Spiegazione funzionale e analisi concettuale: Sull’incidenza dei modelli economici nello studio della pratica giuridica.” Ars Interpretandi 2013 (2):69109.Google Scholar
Papineau, D. 1985. “Probabilities and Causes.” Journal of Philosophy 82 (2):5774.Google Scholar
Papineau, D.. 1989. “Pure, Mixed, and Spurious Probabilities and Their Significance for a Reductionist Theory of Causation.” In Kitcher, P. and Salmon, W., eds., Scientific Explanation (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press).Google Scholar
Parisi, F., and Fon, V.. 2004. “Comparative Causation.” American Law and Economics Review 6 (2):345368.Google Scholar
Parisi, F., and Singh, R.. 2010. “The Efficiency of Comparative Causation.” Review of Law and Economics 6 (2):219245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Posner, R.A. 1998. Economic Analysis of Law. 5th ed. (New York: Aspen Law and Business).Google Scholar
Priest, G.L. 1977. “The Common Law Process and the Selection of Efficient Rules.” Journal of Legal Studies 6 (1):6582.Google Scholar
Priest, G., and Klein, B.. 1984. “The Selection of Disputes for Litigation.” Journal of Legal Studies 13 (1):155.Google Scholar
Rizzo, M.J. 1981. “The Imputation Theory of Proximate Cause: An Economic Framework.” Georgia Law Review 15:10071038.Google Scholar
Rubin, P. 1977. “Why Is Common Law Efficient? Journal of Legal Studies 6 (1):5163.Google Scholar
Salmon, W. 1970. “Statistical Explanation.” In Salmon, W., with Jeffrey, R., and Greeno, J., Statistical Explanation and Statistical Relevance (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press).Google Scholar
Shavell, S. 1980. “An Analysis of Causation and the Scope of Liability in the Law of Torts.” Journal of Legal Studies 9 (3):463516.Google Scholar
Shavell, S.. 2007. “Liability for Accidents.” In Polinsky, M. and Shavell, S., eds., Handbook of Law and Economics. Volume 1 (Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier), 139182.Google Scholar
Suppes, P. 1970. A Probabilistic Theory of Causation (Amsterdam, Netherlands: North-Holland Publishing).Google Scholar
Taruffo, M. 2005. “Conocimiento científico y estándares de prueba judicial.” Boletín Mexicano de Derecho Comparado (n.s.) 38 (114):12851312.Google Scholar
Thagard, P., and Nisbett, R.E.. 1983. “Rationality and Charity.” Philosophy of Science 50 (2):250267.Google Scholar
Weinrib, E. 1995. The Idea of Private Law (Cambridge, MA, and London: Harvard University Press).Google Scholar
Williamson, J. 2009. “Probabilistic Theories.” In Beebee, H., Hitchcock, C., and Menzies, P., eds., The Oxford Handbook of Causation (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
Wright, R.W. 1985. “Causation in Tort Law.” California Law Review 73 (6):17351828.Google Scholar
Wright, R.W.. 1985. “Actual Causation vs. Probabilistic Linkage: The Bane of Economic Analysis.” Journal of Legal Studies 14 (2):435456.Google Scholar
Wright, R.W.. 1987. “The Efficient Theory of Causation and Responsibility: Unscientific Formalism and False Semantics.” Chicago-Kent Law Review 63:553578.Google Scholar
Wright, R.W.. 1988. “Causation, Responsibility, Risk, Probability, Naked Statistics, and Proof: Pruning the Bramble Bush by Clarifying the Concepts.” Iowa Law Review 73:10011077.Google Scholar
Wright, R.W.. 2011. “Proving Causation: Probability vs. Belief.” In Goldberg, R., ed., Perspectives on Causation (Oxford: Hart Publishing).Google Scholar