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Asia-Pacific Journal of Regional Science

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 589–624 | Cite as

Compensation, punishment, and deterrence: a survey on the purpose of tort damages in the case of a defective car accident in Japan

  • Daisuke MoriEmail author
  • Shuichi Takahashi
  • Yasuhiro Ikeda
Economic Analysis of Law, Politics, and Regions

Abstract

Under Japanese tort law, the main purpose of damages is the compensation of a victim. The punishment of the offender and determent of similar future conduct are considered only a subordinate effect and the purpose of criminal sanctions. The Japanese court even states that punitive damages that are imposed for punishment or deterrence are contrary to the fundamental principles of the Japanese legal system. However, do ordinary Japanese people support these ideas? In this study, we investigate how the legal system of damages is perceived by means of a survey. In response to a story about a car accident caused by design flaws, we asked respondents how much they think the manufacturer should pay the victim in damages, and inquire as to how much they consider certain factors, such as compensation and deterrence. We statistically analyzed the data and found that although most consider compensation when they estimate the appropriate amount of damages, many consider deterrence and punishment as well. We demonstrate that the more they consider deterrence and punishment, the larger the amount of estimated damages becomes. In addition, we find that variances in the amount of damages increases along with the extent to which they consider these factors.

Keywords

Purpose of damages Tort law in Japan Survey experiment Punitive damages Decoupling liability 

JEL Classification

K13 C21 C83 

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Copyright information

© The Japan Section of the Regional Science Association International 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawKumamoto UniversityKumamotoJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationMiyagi University of EducationSendaiJapan

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