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Rational Legal Decision-Making, Value Judgment and Efficient Precaution in Tort Law
Mingli Zheng and Sajid Anwar
Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE) / Zeitschrift für die gesamte Staatswissenschaft
Vol. 161, No. 3 (September 2005), pp. 411-427
Published by: Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Co. KG
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40752530
Page Count: 17
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Social welfare, Punitive damages, Social inequality, Tort law, Income inequality, Wealth, Economic value, Value judgments, Economic theory, Social attitudes
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By reinterpreting Savage's axioms as axioms of the social rationality over resource allocations, we derive a social welfare function encompassing individual social values and a social attitude towards distributional inequality. Wealth maximization becomes the purpose of law only if individuals have equal social values and the society does not care about distributional inequality. In tort law, when the injurer is less socially valued than the victim, the society imposes a stricter dueprecaution level, and punitive damages will be awarded. Tort law also implicitly transfers wealth from the less socially valued party to the more socially valued party.
Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE) / Zeitschrift für die gesamte Staatswissenschaft © 2005 Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Co. KG