Double-edged torts

Barbara Luppi, Francesco Parisi, Daniel Pi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Many tort cases are characterized by two interrelated elements: "role uncertainty", which occurs when individuals take precautions ignorant of their roles in future accidents and availability of "dual-effect precautions", which reduce both the probability of an individual becoming an injurer and the probability that the same individual will become a victim of someone else's negligence. In this paper, we extend the traditional model to account for role-uncertainty and dual-effect precautions. We find that in these situations, the traditional formulation of Negligence fails to incentivize efficient precautions, inducing excessive role-specific precautions and insufficient dual-effect precautions. For such cases, we argue for a modification of the standard of due care that accounts for the full benefit of dual-effect precautions, in order to incentivize efficient precautionary efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-48
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Review of Law and Economics
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Inc.


  • Dual-effect precautions
  • Precaution externalities
  • Restatement (Third) of Torts (2010) §3
  • Role-uncertainty


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