Death, happiness and the calculation of compensatory damages
Oswald, Andrew J. and Powdthavee, Nattavudh (2007) Death, happiness and the calculation of compensatory damages. Working Paper. Coventry: University of Warwick, Department of Economics. Warwick economic research papers (No.827).
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This paper studies the mental distress caused by bereavement. The largest emotional losses are from the death of a spouse; the second-worst in severity are the losses from the death of a child; the third-worst is the death of a parent. The paper explores how happiness regression equations might be used in tort cases to calculate compensatory damages for emotional harm and pain-and-suffering. We examine alternative well-being variables, discuss adaptation, consider the possibility that bereavement affects someone’s marginal utility of income, and suggest a procedure for correcting for the endogeneity of income. Although the paper’s contribution is methodological, and further research is needed, some illustrative compensation amounts are discussed.
|Item Type:||Working or Discussion Paper (Working Paper)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Bereavement -- Psychological aspects, Happiness, Regression analysis -- Mathematical models, Reparation (Criminal justice), Marginal utility|
|Series Name:||Warwick economic research papers|
|Publisher:||University of Warwick, Department of Economics|
|Place of Publication:||Coventry|
|Official Date:||31 October 2007|
|Number of Pages:||44|
|Status:||Not Peer Reviewed|
|Access rights to Published version:||Open Access|
|Funder:||Economic and Social Research Council (Great Britain) (ESRC)|
|Version or Related Resource:||Oswald, A.J., and Powdthavee, N. (2008). Death, Happiness, and the Calculation of Compensatory Damages. The Journal of Legal Studies, 37(2), pp. S217-S251. http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/id/eprint/28759|
Argyle, Michael. 2001. The Psychology of Happiness. London: Routledge.
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