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Sind härtere Strafen für Korruption erforderlich?: Ökonomische Überlegungen zur Sanktionierung illegaler Austauschbeziehungen

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  • Torsten Steinrücken
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    Abstract

    The article discusses the question, to what extent harder sanctions are suitable to reduce the amount of corruption. Punishments affect the decision of potential offenders in various ways. Therefore it seems doubtful if an aggravation of penalty really causes the desired effects. From economic view a set of reasons speaks against the consideration that higher punishments lead inevitably to dropping the corruption level. With reference to the temporal dimension of the punishment it is furthermore shown, that earlier punishment represents an alternative to the aggravation of penalty. Since humans weigh future payments lower than immediate payments, sanctions have more effect the sooner the sanctions take place. Considering the results of empirical investigations, which show that people devalue future payments relatively strong, it could be assumed, that an immediate punishment and an increased certainty of punishment causes a stronger deterrent effect than an increased severity of sanction. Der vorliegende Beitrag diskutiert die Frage, inwieweit härtere Sanktionen geeignet sind, zur Einschränkung von Korruption beizutragen. Da Strafen auf vielfältige Art und Weise das Entscheidungskalkül von Straftätern beeinflussen, ist nicht zweifelsfrei zu bestimmen, ob eine Strafverschärfung tatsächlich die erwünschten Wirkungen hervorbringt. Aus ökonomischer Sicht spricht eine Reihe von Gründen gegen die Überlegung, dass höhere Strafen zwangsläufig zu einem Absinken des Korruptionsniveaus führen. Unter Bezugnahme auf die zeitliche Dimension der Bestrafung wird ferner gezeigt, dass das Vorziehen von Zwangsmaßnahmen eine Alternative zur Strafverschärfung darstellt. Da Menschen weiter in der Zukunft liegende Auszahlungen geringer gewichten als unmittelbar bevorstehende Auszahlungen, zeigen Sanktionen umso mehr Wirkung, je früher sie auf das strafbare Verhalten erfolgen. Berücksichtigt man zudem Beobachtungen aus der empirischen Sozialforschung, wonach Personen weit in der Zukunft liegende Auszahlungen stark diskontieren, so ist zu vermuten, dass von einer Anhebung der Verurteilungswahrscheinlichkeit und einer frühzeitigen Bestrafung eine stärkere Präventivwirkung ausgeht als von einer Strafverschärfung.

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    File URL: http://ejournals.duncker-humblot.de/doi/pdf/10.3790/vjh.73.2.301
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its journal Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung.

    Volume (Year): 73 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 301-317

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    Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:73-20-9

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    1. Vito Tanzi, 1998. "Corruption Around the World," IMF Working Papers 98/63, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Liew, Leong H., 1992. "Corruption as a form of insurance," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 427-443, October.
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    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. repec:att:wimass:8908 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Lowenstein, George & Prelec, Drazen, 1991. "Negative Time Preference," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 347-52, May.
    9. Rajeev Goel & Daniel Rich, 1989. "On the economic incentives for taking bribes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(3), pages 269-275, June.
    10. James Andreoni, 1991. "Reasonable Doubt and the Optimal Magnitude of Fines: Should the Penalty Fit the Crime?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(3), pages 385-395, Autumn.
    11. Thompson, Velma Montoya & Thompson, Earl A, 1993. " Achieving Optimal Fines for Political Bribery: A Suggested Political Reform," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 77(4), pages 773-91, December.
    12. Chang, Juin-jen & Lai, Ching-chong & Yang, C. C., 2000. "Casual police corruption and the economics of crime:: Further results," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 35-51, March.
    13. Saul Pleeter & John T. Warner, 2001. "The Personal Discount Rate: Evidence from Military Downsizing Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 33-53, March.
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