Chapter

The Problem of Liability Rules: The Failings of Wealth Maximization as a Normative Ideal

Eric Rakowski

in Equal Justice

Published in print July 1993 | ISBN: 9780198240792
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680274 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198240792.003.0009

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

The Problem of Liability Rules: The Failings of Wealth Maximization as a Normative Ideal

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This chapter explores a coherent, appealing theory of tort law by examining the most influential account of the normative foundations of wealth maximization, that of Richard Posner. This chapter's focus on wealth maximization deserves merit because of the attraction such a theory would receive for people carving up a collectively held stock of property into equal pieces. By probing the shortcomings of wealth maximization, an attempt is made to show how its rules must be modified to produce more just outcomes in certain recurrent situations and to isolate those facts that should guide the choice between more stricter and less stricter standards of liability. Discussion is confined to the appropriateness of compensation for nonmarket injury.

Keywords: wealth maximization; Richard Posner; liability rule; tort law; normative ideal; property

Chapter.  13220 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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