Harvard Kennedy School Harvard University

Search this site

logo
Faculty Research Working Paper Series
F.M. Scherer
Professor of Public Policy and Corporate Management in the Aetna Chair, Emeritus
phone: 617-497-4345
Class Actions in the U.S. Experience: An Economist's Perception.
Scherer, F.M. "Class Actions in the U.S. Experience: An Economist's Perception." KSG Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP07-028, June 2007.
Abstract
This paper, presented at a University of the Piedmont (Italy) conference in January 2007, analyzes several features of the U.S. experience with class action litigation, emphasizing suits alleging antitrust law violations. It observes that despite the trebling of damages under U.S. antitrust law, deterrence has been less than completely successful, as shown by the large number of important price-fixing conspiracies proven in recent years. It argues too that many class action suits are brought with insubstantial evidence of violation. An important motivator is the significant share of settlement damages realized by entrepreurial law firms organizing the class actions. The retention by judges of neutral economic experts can help sort out the evidentiary complexities of class action suits, but the approach is far from a panacea.
Attachment
pdf

 

 


Copyright © 2017 The President and Fellows of Harvard College