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Libel Bullies, Defamation Victims and Litigation Incentives

Acheson, David, Wohlschlegel, Ansgar (2021) Libel Bullies, Defamation Victims and Litigation Incentives. Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, . ISSN 0932-4569. E-ISSN 1614-0559. (doi:10.1628/jite-2021-0003) (KAR id:84718)


In the context of defamation law, we analyze a public figure’s incentives to bring negativevalue defamation suits in order to appear litigious, and how this affects her incentives to do wrong in the first place and the media’s incentives to expose this wrongdoing. In equilibrium, the public figure’s litigation incentives depend both on her own direct costs and benefits of doing so, and on journalists’ costs and benefits from litigation and publication. Furthermore, equilibrium wrongdoing and publication choices depend on an otherwise non-litigious public figure’s litigation payoffs. Potential effects of legal reform are briefly discussed.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1628/jite-2021-0003
Uncontrolled keywords: Defamation Law, Litigation Costs, Signalling
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Centre for Journalism
Depositing User: David Acheson
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2020 12:16 UTC
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2022 00:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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