Tort models predict a symmetry in the behavior of tortfeasors and victims when respectively faced by strict liability or no liability. This paper relies upon the standard accident model and uses an original experimental design to investigate whether the prediction of the tort model holds in actual accident situations. More precisely, we study how individual care choices are affected by the role played by the subject in an accident — as a prospective tortfeasor facing strict liability or as a prospective victim facing the risk of uncompensated loss. Contrary to the theoretical predictions, the results of our experiment show that prospective tortfeasors and victims undertake different investments in precautions when faced with identical financial risks. Victims are more likely to invest in precautions than tortfeasors. We discuss the tort policy implications of our behavioral findings and their practical relevance for accident prevention.
Professor Francesco Parisi is Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School and Professor of Economics at the University of Bologna, Department of Economics.
From 2002 to 2006 he held a Chair in Private Law at the University of Milan (Statale), where he was appointed Professore Ordinario per Chiara Fama. From 1993 to 2006 he taught at George Mason University where he served as Professor of Law & Director of the Law and Economics Program and as an Associate Director of the J.M. Buchanan Center for Political Economy.
Professor Parisi received his DJur degree from the University of Rome "La Sapienza", an LLM, a JSD and an MA degree in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley, and a PhD in Economics from George Mason University.
He has authored and edited 20 books and published over 250 papers in peer-reviewed journals. Professor Parisi is currently serving as editor-in-chief of the Review of Law and Economics and served as editor of the Supreme Court Economic Review from 2002 to 2008. He is a member of the board of editors of the International Review of Law and Economics, the Journal of Public Choice, the American Journal of Comparative Law, and serves on the Board of Advisors of the Social Sciences Research Network.