The law and economics of public health
The fundamental question addressed by this paper is whether or not and the extent to which imposing tort liability on potential injurers improves the public's health. Conceptually, imposing the threat of litigation on potential injurers gives them an incentive to exercise more care than they would absent the threat. While the conclusion might seem to be obvious at first glance, in reality, the conclusion is far from obvious. For one, insurance coverage may blunt incentives to take care. Also, the tort system may operate far less perfectly than the theory would have it. In the end, the question must be answered on the basis of empirical evidence. © 2007 F. A. Sloan and L. M. Chepke.
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