Criminal Law and Behavioral Law and Economics: Observations on the Neglected Role of Uncertainty in Deterring Crime
AbstractCriminal sanctions are usually public, stable and predictable. In contrast, the practices governing the determination of the probability of detection and conviction reinforce uncertainty. We invoke psychological insights to illustrate that criminals prefer a scheme in which the size of the sentence is uncertain while the probability of detection and conviction is certain. Consequently, the choice to increase certainty with respect to the size of the sentence and to decrease certainty with respect to the probability of detection and conviction can be justified on the grounds that such a scheme is disfavored by criminals and consequently has better deterrent effects. Copyright 1999 by Oxford University Press.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Oxford University Press in its journal American Law and Economics Review.
Volume (Year): 1 (1999)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (Fall)
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Other versions of this item:
- Harel, Alon & Segal, Uzi, 1999. "Criminal Law and Behavioral Law and Economics: Observations on the Neglected Role of Uncertainty in Deterring Crime," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt2gx715nd, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
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