In an economic perspective, punitive damages and class actions can be viewed as sharing a common economic function-creating optimal deterrence. Building on Parisi and Cenini (Class actions for Europe: perspectives from law and economics, ELGAR, 2010), we study the effect of alternative procedural regimes on the effectiveness of punitive damages and class actions. Specifically, we compare the workings of punitive damages and class actions in the American and English ("loser-pays ") regimes. Our findings help explain the limited use and late adoption of class actions and punitive damages in Europe.
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- Class actions
- Loser-Pays rule
- Punitive damages