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Journal Article

Death, happiness, and the calculation of compensatory damages

Authors

Publication date

2008

Abstract

This paper presents a study of the mental distress caused by bereavement. The greatest emotional losses are from the death of a spouse, the second greatest from the death of a child, and the third from 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.

Published in

Journal of Legal Studies

Volume

37 (S2): S217-S251

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/595674

Subjects

Law And Legislation, Economics, and Well Being

Links

http://serlib0.essex.ac.uk/record=b1625511~S5

Notes

Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to Univ. Essex registered users*

#512819


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