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Corruption, Extortion, and the Boundaries of the Law

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  • Nicolas Melissas

Abstract

We consider a setup in which a principal must decide whether or not to legalize a socially undesirable activity. The law is enforced by a monitor who may be bribed to conceal evidence of the offense and who may also engage in extortionary practices. The principal may legalize the activity even if it is a very harmful one. The principal may also declare the activity illegal knowing that the monitor will abuse the law to extract bribes out of innocent people. Our model offers a novel rationale for legalizing possession and consumption of drugs while continuing to prosecute drug dealers. (JEL D82, L22, K4) The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Yale University. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization.

Volume (Year): 25 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 442-471

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:25:y:2009:i:2:p:442-471

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  1. A Mishra, . "Hierarchies, Incentives And Collusion In Model Of Enforcement," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 067, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
  2. HINDRIKS, Jean & KEEN, Michael & MUTHOO, Abhinay, . "Corruption, extortion and evasion," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1671, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Kugler, Maurice & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2003. "Organized Crime, Corruption and Punishment," Working Paper Series 600, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  4. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  5. Kessler, Anke S., 2000. "On Monitoring and Collusion in Hierarchies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 280-291, April.
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