Journal Article

Harm–Benefit Interactions

Oren Bar-Gill and Ariel Porat

in American Law and Economics Review

Published on behalf of The American Law and Economics Association

Volume 16, issue 1, pages 86-116
Published in print March 2014 | ISSN: 1465-7252
Published online September 2013 | e-ISSN: 1465-7260 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aler/aht016
Harm–Benefit Interactions

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  • Welfare Economics
  • Property Law
  • Tort Law
  • Contract Law

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We analyze a distinct category of cases—Harm–Benefit cases—in which harm to the victim is accompanied by benefit to the injurer. While liability should be imposed when the benefit exceeds the harm, the case for liability becomes weaker when the harm is larger than the benefit. Therefore, it is often more important to impose liability on the non-negligent injurer than on the negligent injurer. We study the incentive effects of different liability rules, as well as the restitution rule. Our analysis also sheds new light on the law of takings. And it applies in certain contractual settings.

Keywords: D61; D62; K11; K12; K13

Journal Article.  10551 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Welfare Economics ; Property Law ; Tort Law ; Contract Law

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