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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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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.100.3.1104
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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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References

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  1. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  2. Orley Ashenfelter & Michael Greenstone, 2002. "Using Mandated Speed Limits to Measure the Value of a Statistical Life," Working Papers 842, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. 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.
  4. Edward P. Lazear, 2004. "Speeding, Tax Fraud, and Teaching to the Test," NBER Working Papers 10932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Peltzman, Sam, 1975. "The Effects of Automobile Safety Regulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(4), pages 677-725, August.
  6. John Knowles & Nicola Persico & Petra Todd, 2001. "Racial Bias in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(1), pages 203-232, February.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Dai, Zhixin & Hogarth, Robin M. & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2014. "Ambiguity on Audits and Cooperation in a Public Goods Game," IZA Discussion Papers 7932, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. 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.
  4. Zhixin Dai & Robin M. Hogarth & Marie Claire Villeval, 2014. "Ambiguity on audits and cooperation in a public goods game," Working Papers halshs-00944500, HAL.
  5. Zhixin Dai & Robin M. Hogarth & Marie Claire Villeval, 2014. "Ambiguity on audits and cooperation in a public goods game," Working Papers 1403, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.

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