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University of Michigan Law School

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Law and Economics

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Another Theory Of Insufficient Activity Levels, Mark Grady Jan 2009

Another Theory Of Insufficient Activity Levels, Mark Grady

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

A response to David Gilo & Ehud Guttel, Negligence and Insufficient Activity: The Missing Paradigm in Torts, 108 Mich L. Rev. 277 (2009). Professors David Gilo and Ehud Guttel have written an important article on the tendency of the negligence rule to produce inefficiently low activity levels. In Negligence and Insufficient Activity: The Missing Paradigm in Torts, the authors claim insufficient activity to be the "missing paradigm" in tort theory. Although I agree with Gilo and Guttel that this missing paradigm is central to negligence doctrine, I disagree with them about how insufficient activity levels arise.


Dilution Of Liability And Multiple Tortfeasors In The Context Of Liability For Unrequested Precautions, Assaf Jacob Jan 2009

Dilution Of Liability And Multiple Tortfeasors In The Context Of Liability For Unrequested Precautions, Assaf Jacob

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

A Response to Ariel Porat, Private Production of Public Goods: Liability for Unrequested Benefits, 108 Mich. L. Rev. (2009). One of the more intriguing questions in tort law is the case of joint and several tortfeasors and the dilution-of-liability puzzle. When harm materializes and there are multiple potential tortfeasors, the law tends to limit the number of joint tortfeasors, focusing the final burden on a small number of actors. This limitation is achieved by several legal mechanisms, such as a no duty rule, a narrow interpretation of negligence, a restrictive implementation of the causal link (be it the but for ...


Insufficient Activity And Tort Liability: A Rejoinder, David Gilo, Ehud Guttel Jan 2009

Insufficient Activity And Tort Liability: A Rejoinder, David Gilo, Ehud Guttel

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

In our article, Negligence and Insufficient Activity, we proposed that tort scholarship has overlooked the risk that injurers will behave strategically in setting their activity levels. Whereas the standard literature has predicted that injurers who are subject to a negligence regime will often invest efficiently in care but choose excessive activity levels, we showed that they may do exactly the opposite: injurers may deliberately restrict their activity to avoid investments in socially desirable precaution. After reviewing the conditions that may give rise to the risk of insufficient activity, we examined the ways in which the legal system can minimize the ...


Activity Levels Under The Hand Formula: A Comment On Gilo And Guttel, Richard A. Epstein Jan 2009

Activity Levels Under The Hand Formula: A Comment On Gilo And Guttel, Richard A. Epstein

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

A response to David Gilo & Ehud Guttel, Negligence and Insufficient Activity: The Missing Paradigm in Torts, 108 Mich. L. Rev. 277 (2009). Within the law and economics field, there often surfaces a near hypnotic attraction to the Hand formula as the one and only tool that drives tort law toward economic efficiency. Hand's intuition was, of course, that the test for efficiency requires a balancing of three variables. The burden of taking particular precautions is compared to the expected loss from some activity, which in turn consists of the likelihood of some particular harm multiplied by its anticipated severity ...


Insufficient Analysis Of Insufficient Activity, Kenneth S. Abraham Jan 2009

Insufficient Analysis Of Insufficient Activity, Kenneth S. Abraham

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

A response to David Gilo & Ehud Guttel, Negligence and Insufficient Activity: The Missing Paradigm in Torts, 108 Mich L. Rev. 277 (2009). In Negligence and Insufficient Activity: The Missing Paradigm in Torts, David Gilo and Ehud Guttel argue that negligence law encourages inefficiently high and low levels of activity because negligence law ordinarily does not take activity levels into account. They suggest that the law should impose liability for failing to take safety precautions-even where precautions would not be cost-justified-whenever the threat of this liability negates the incentive for an actor to choose an insufficient level of activity. Until now ...