The Determinants of the Incidence and Magnitude of Punitive Damages

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The Determinants of the Incidence and Magnitude of Punitive Damages

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Title: The Determinants of the Incidence and Magnitude of Punitive Damages
Author: Kochhar, Ankita
Advisor: Kontorovich, Vladimir
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Economics
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: This paper investigates the determinants of the incidence and magnitude of punitive damage awards in a nationally representative sample of US State Courts in 2005. I evaluate the impact of the compensatory award, disposition type, claim type, the presence of caps, and permanence of injury on the incidence and magnitude of punitive damages in tort and contract cases. A lack of federal regulation and a wide range of state regulation can be attributed as the primary cause of the large variation in punitive damages. Incidence of punitive damages is consistently high in intentional tort, fraud and employment cases. Juries award higher damages than judges, and are more likely to suffer from hindsight bias when awarding damages ex-ante. Caps provide jurors with an anchor, and may cause a higher incidence and magnitude of punitive damages. Incidence is more predictable than magnitude, which is primarily because jurors can rank behavior based on ‘how bad it is’, but struggle to put a monetary value while awarding deterrence awards.
Subject: Exemplary damages -- United States
Subject: Exemplary damages -- United States -- Statistics
Subject: Exemplary damages -- United States -- Decision making
Terms of Use: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10066/6975

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Kochhar, Ankita. "The Determinants of the Incidence and Magnitude of Punitive Damages". 2011. Available electronically from http://hdl.handle.net/10066/6975.

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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/ Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/