Economic Analysis of Products Liability: Theory
Daughety, Andrew F.
Reinganum, Jennifer F. Reinganum
This chapter provides a survey of much of the recent theoretical analysis of products liability. We start by describing an idealized model and providing the specific economic assumptions which underpin it. Later sections examine the effects of relaxing these assumptions, which has been the focus of much of the theoretical work over the last few decades. These modifications include: informational differences between producers and consumers that arise over the life of a product; incorporation of endogenously-determined costs, such as those that arise from investment in care; and evaluating contractual versus mandatory liability.