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Data Watch: Tort-uring the Data

Authors: Helland, Eric; Klick, Jonathan; Tabarrok, Alexander

Source: The Journal of Economic Perspectives, Volume 19, Number 2, Spring 2005 , pp. 207-220(14)

Publisher: American Economic Association

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Abstract:

This article discusses data available for researchers interested in the U.S. civil justice system and illustrates the uses of the various datasets with some interesting findings. Our focus is on torts, defined as an injury to person or property that is not covered by contract and for which civil liability may be imposed. The most common tort is the result of an auto accident. We discuss data useful for analyzing trends, data that are useful for cross-sectional research and finally data covering only a specific type of civil litigation such as medical malpractice. We conclude by discussing the limitations of all civil litigation data.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1257/0895330054048669

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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  • The Journal of Economic Perspectives (JEP) attempts to fill a gap between the general interest press and most other academic economics journals. The journal aims to publish articles that will serve several goals: to synthesize and integrate lessons learned from active lines of economic research; to provide economic analysis of public policy issues; to encourage cross-fertilization of ideas among the fields of thinking; to offer readers an accessible source for state-of-the-art economic thinking; to suggest directions for future research; to provide insights and readings for classroom use; and to address issues relating to the economics profession.
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