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On The Deterrent Effect Of Individual Versus Collective Liability In Criminal Organizations

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Author Info

  • Laetitia HAURET

    ()
    (Centre d'Etudes de Populations, de Pauvreté et de Politiques Socio–Economiques/International Network for Studies in Technology, Environment, Alternatives, Development, Differdange, Luxembourg)

  • Eric LANGLAIS

    ()
    (Nancy University, EconomiX and CEREFIGE, France)

  • Carine SONNTAG

    (ICN Business School, Nancy, France)

Abstract

Our paper addresses the question of the deterrent effect of a monetary sanction associated to a collective rather than an individual liability, when crimes are realized within a hierarchical gang (defined as a criminal organization where the leader is a sleeping partner and several agents are active partners in the illegal or criminal activity). We develop a model where the active gang members face contradictory incentives to commit a crime. On the one hand, public authorities try to deter each gang member by imposing sanctions; on the second, the leader of the gang try to keep his members enough active in the gang by threatening them of private sanctions. We show that sanctions based on individual liability are inefficient to deter gang's members since the leader overreacts on the public sanctions. In contrast, we show that a regime of collective liability, allowing the judge to sanction the sleeping partner even if he hasn't realized any crime himself, can reach enough deterrence of the members of the gang.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by ASERS Publishing in its journal Journal of Advanced Research in Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): II (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (December)
Pages: 125-135

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Handle: RePEc:srs:jarle1:4:v:2:y:2011:i:2:p:125-135

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Web page: http://www.asers.eu/journals/jarle.html

Related research

Keywords: Gangs deterrence; individual and collective liability; optimal law enforcement;

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  1. Edward E. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1738, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Sylvaine Poret, 2002. "Structure verticale d’un réseau de distribution de drogues illicites et politique répressive optimale," Working Papers 2002-07, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  3. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  4. Abdala Mansour & Nicolas Marceau & Steeve Mongrain, 2006. "Gangs and Crime Deterrence," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(2), pages 315-339, October.
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  6. Sah, R.K., 1990. "Social Osmosis And Patterns Of Crime: A Dynamic Economic Analysis," Papers 609, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
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  8. Konrad, Kai A. & Skaperdas, Stergios, 1997. "Credible threats in extortion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 23-39, May.
  9. Nuno Garoupa, 1997. "The economics of organized crime and optimal law enforcement," Economics Working Papers 246, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Dec 1997.
  10. Nuno Garoupa, 1999. "Optimal law enforcement and criminal organization," Economics Working Papers 366, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  11. Steven Shavell & A. Mitchell Polinsky, 2000. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 45-76, March.
  12. Shavell, Steven, 1997. "The optimal level of corporate liability given the limited ability of corporations to penalize their employees," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 203-213, June.
  13. Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2005. "Crime and Conformism," CEPR Discussion Papers 5331, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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