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Punish Once or Punish Twice: A Theory of the Use of Criminal Sanctions in Addition to Regulatory Penalties

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  • Nuno Garoupa

Abstract

Though clearly distinct in nature and procedure, both regulatory agencies and courts frequently rely on similar instruments to sanction the same or very similar kinds of illegal behavior. In this article, we develop a theory of the use of criminal sanctions in addition to regulatory penalties. We show that, even though it is generally more effective to have a penalty imposed by a regulatory agency rather than by the courts, under some conditions it is optimal to have both. The article provides three arguments: agency costs when delegating law enforcement, legal error, and collusion between a regulatory agency and an offender. The objective of the article, though, is not limited to the determination of the theoretical conditions that can make the use of both sanctioning schemes optimal. Our analysis is also relevant to the application of a specific legal doctrine, the Double Jeopardy Clause. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal American Law and Economics Review.

Volume (Year): 6 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 410-433

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Handle: RePEc:oup:amlawe:v:6:y:2004:i:2:p:410-433

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  1. Segerson, Kathleen & Tietenberg, Tom, 1992. "The structure of penalties in environmental enforcement: An economic analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 179-200, September.
  2. Nuno Garoupa & Mohamed Jellal, 2002. "A Note on Optimal Law Enforcement under Asymmetric Information," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 5-13, July.
  3. Jean-Jacques Laffont & David Martimort, 1999. "Separation of Regulators Against Collusive Behavior," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 232-262, Summer.
  4. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2000. "On the Joint Use of Liability and Safety Regulation," MPRA Paper 12536, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Shavell, Steven, 1995. "The Appeals Process as a Means of Error Correction," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 379-426, June.
  6. Nuno Garoupa, 2000. "Corporate criminal law and organization incentives: a managerial perspective," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(6), pages 243-252.
  7. Burrows, Paul, 1999. "Combining regulation and legal liability for the control of external costs," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 227-244, June.
  8. Fenn, P & Veljanovski, C G, 1988. "A Positive Economic Theory of Regulatory Enforcement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(393), pages 1055-70, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Christian Almer & Timo Goeschl, 2010. "Environmental Crime and Punishment: Empirical Evidence from the German Penal Code," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 86(4), pages 707-726.
  2. Grajzl, Peter & Baniak, Andrzej, 2009. "Industry self-regulation, subversion of public institutions, and social control of torts," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 360-374, December.
  3. Timo Goeschl & Ole Jürgens, 2014. "Criminalizing environmental offences: when the prosecutor’s helping hand hurts," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 199-219, April.
  4. Iljoong Kim, 2008. "Securities laws ‘facilitating’ private enforcement," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 17-38, February.

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