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Private law enforcement, fine sharing, and tax collection: Theory and historical evidence

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  • Coşgel, Metin M.
  • Etkes, Haggay
  • Miceli, Thomas J.

Abstract

This paper contributes to the literature on private law enforcement by proposing a novel solution to the problem of underenforcement by monopolistic enforcers. Monopolistic enforcers underinvest in enforcement because they ignore the social benefits of deterrence. We show that this problem can be partially resolved by combining law enforcement with tax collection because a joint enforcer-collector will have an interest in reducing the crime rate in order to maximize his tax income. In support of the theory, we discuss two historical examples of this practice: decentralized law enforcement under European feudalism, and centralized law enforcement in the Ottoman Empire.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 80 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 546-552

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:80:y:2011:i:3:p:546-552

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

Related research

Keywords: Criminal fines; Deterrence; Private law enforcement; Tax collection;

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  1. Wheaton, William C., 2006. "Metropolitan fragmentation, law enforcement effort and urban crime," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 1-14, July.
  2. Nuno Garoupa & Daniel Klerman, 2002. "Optimal Law Enforcement with a Rent-Seeking Government," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 116-140, January.
  3. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 2005. "The Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," NBER Working Papers 11780, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Metin M. Cosgel & Thomas J. Miceli, 2007. "Tax Collection in History," Working papers 2007-48, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2008.
  5. Benson, Bruce L & Rasmussen, David W & Sollars, David L, 1995. " Police Bureaucracies, Their Incentives, and the War on Drugs," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 83(1-2), pages 21-45, April.
  6. Pollock, Sir Frederick & Maitland, Frederic William, 1898. "History of English Law Before the Time of Edward I," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, edition 2, volume 2, number maitland1898b.
  7. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  8. Pollock, Sir Frederick & Maitland, Frederic William, 1898. "History of English Law Before the Time of Edward I," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, edition 2, volume 1, number maitland1898a.
  9. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 1999. "Corruption and Optimal Law Enforcement," NBER Working Papers 6945, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Besanko, David & Spulber, Daniel F, 1989. "Delegated Law Enforcement and Noncooperative Behavior," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 25-52, Spring.
  11. Gary S. Becker & George J. Stigler, 1974. "Law Enforcement, Malfeasance, and Compensation of Enforcers," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 1-18, January.
  12. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  13. Helsley, Robert W. & Strange, William C., 1999. "Gated Communities and the Economic Geography of Crime," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 80-105, July.
  14. Garoupa Nuno & Klerman Daniel M., 2010. "Corruption and Private Law Enforcement: Theory and History," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 75-96, April.
  15. George J. Stigler, 1974. "The Optimum Enforcement of Laws," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 55-67 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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