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A Theory of Optimal Random Crackdowns

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  • Jan Eeckhout
  • Nicola Persico
  • Petra E. Todd

Abstract

An incentives based theory of policing is developed which can explain the phenomenon of random "crackdowns," i.e., intermittent periods of high interdiction/ surveillance. For a variety of police objective functions, random crackdowns can be part of the optimal monitoring strategy. We demonstrate support for implications of the crackdown theory using traffic data gathered by the Belgian Police Department and use the model to estimate the deterrence effect of additional resources spent on speeding interdiction. (JEL K42, R41)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 100 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 1104-35

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:3:p:1104-35

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.3.1104
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  1. Ashenfelter, Orley & Greenstone, Michael, 2002. "Using Mandated Speed Limits to Measure the Value of a Statistical Life," IZA Discussion Papers 571, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. John Knowles & Nicola Persico & Petra Todd, . "Racial Bias in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," Penn CARESS Working Papers 5940d5c4875c571776fb29700, Penn Economics Department.
  3. Peltzman, Sam, 1975. "The Effects of Automobile Safety Regulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(4), pages 677-725, August.
  4. Rafael Di Tella & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2004. "Do Police Reduce Crime? Estimates Using the Allocation of Police Forces After a Terrorist Attack," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 115-133, March.
  5. Edward P. Lazear, 2004. "Speeding, Tax Fraud, and Teaching to the Test," NBER Working Papers 10932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Polinsky, Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1979. "The Optimal Tradeoff between the Probability and Magnitude of Fines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 880-91, December.
  7. Stigler, George J, 1970. "The Optimum Enforcement of Laws," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(3), pages 526-36, May-June.
  8. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  9. repec:reg:wpaper:86 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Chander, Parkash & Wilde, Louis L, 1998. "A General Characterization of Optimal Income Tax Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 165-83, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Gregory DeAngelo & Gary Charness, 2012. "Deterrence, expected cost, uncertainty and voting: Experimental evidence," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 73-100, February.
  2. Zhixin Dai & Robin M. Hogarth & Marie Claire Villeval, 2014. "Ambiguity on audits and cooperation in a public goods game," Working Papers halshs-00944500, HAL.
  3. D'Este, Rocco, 2014. "The Effect of Stolen Goods Markets on Crime: Evidence from a Quasi - Natural Experiment," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1040, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.

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