Risk regulation, liability and insurance
This document provides a short literature review on the complementarity (and antagonisms) between liability rules, safety regulation and insurance and their effect on safety management. It draws on a range of disciplines, with a focus on economic analysis of law and regulation theory. Some of the issues discussed are rather complex ; this document attempts to provide simple explanations together with references to the professional literature for the interested reader. Some issues are the subject of ongoing debate between scholars ; in such situations, we have attempted to present the various points of view.
The first chapter presents issues related to regulation, starting with the classical economic justifications for state intervention (presence of externalities, information failures and moral hazard). A number of obstacles to the effectiveness of safety regulation are presented. Finally, some alternatives or complements to regulation, including self-regulation, are briefly discussed. Chapter 2 presents an overview of liability law, starting with some introductory definitions. Factors which weaken the effectiveness of liability as an incentive to invest in prevention are discussed, as are negative effects of liability regimes on safety management. A number of case studies illustrating the liability of regulators are briefly presented. Chapter 3 discusses the impact of insurance and reinsurance on firms’ and individuals’ safety management. The last chapter briefly analyzes firms’ and individuals’ sources of motivation to take care.
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