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Foundations of Evidence Law$
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Alex Stein

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198257363

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198257363.001.0001

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(p.141) 5 Cost-Efficiency
Foundations of Evidence Law

Alex Stein

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an economic analysis of evidence law. Cost-efficiency requires adjudicators to minimize the aggregate cost of accuracy-enhancing procedures and fact-finding errors. The chapter examines the evidential mechanisms to attain this goal. These mechanisms enhance cost-efficiency by eliminating the problem of private information and the misalignment between the private litigants’ incentives and the social good. These mechanisms include decision rules that determine the burdens and the standards of proof, as well as different process rules that determine what evidence is admissible and what fact-finding methodologies are allowed.

Keywords:   evidence law, cost-efficiency, decision rules, process rules, credibility rules

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