Why people buy liability insurance under the rule of simple negligence

Keith John Crocker, Neil Doherty

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

If people take due care, they will not be found negligent under the Rule of Simple Negligence. Moreover, under this rule, investment in due care is privately and socially optimal. These results jointly imply that liability insurance should not exist. But it does. One explanation relies on errors in the administration of tort law or in the imperfect observation of care. We offer an alternative explanation. Our model is one of symmetric uncertainty where establishing due care requires information on the individual's risk type, which is a random variable. Even though we assume that information on type is costless, we find that, by pooling across risk classes, liability insurance permits risk averse individuals to avoid the classification lottery that arises from establishing type. Insurance also has subtle effects on an injurer's private costs, which depend on the concavity or convexity of the demand for precaution. Given parameter variability across individuals, one would expect to observe a segmented market with some insuring while others choose to become informed and take due care. Moreover, we show that the voluntary purchase of liability insurance is Pareto improving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIndustrial Organization
Pages133-148
Number of pages16
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000

Publication series

NameAdvances in Applied Microeconomics
Volume9
ISSN (Print)0278-0984

Fingerprint

Liability insurance
Negligence
Risk-averse
Pareto
Costs
Tort law
Uncertainty
Precaution
Random variables
Concavity
Convexity
Insurance
Lottery
Individual risk
Segmented markets
Risk pooling
Purchase

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Crocker, K. J., & Doherty, N. (2000). Why people buy liability insurance under the rule of simple negligence. In Industrial Organization (pp. 133-148). (Advances in Applied Microeconomics; Vol. 9).
Crocker, Keith John ; Doherty, Neil. / Why people buy liability insurance under the rule of simple negligence. Industrial Organization. 2000. pp. 133-148 (Advances in Applied Microeconomics).
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Crocker, KJ & Doherty, N 2000, Why people buy liability insurance under the rule of simple negligence. in Industrial Organization. Advances in Applied Microeconomics, vol. 9, pp. 133-148.

Why people buy liability insurance under the rule of simple negligence. / Crocker, Keith John; Doherty, Neil.

Industrial Organization. 2000. p. 133-148 (Advances in Applied Microeconomics; Vol. 9).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Crocker KJ, Doherty N. Why people buy liability insurance under the rule of simple negligence. In Industrial Organization. 2000. p. 133-148. (Advances in Applied Microeconomics).