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The Response of Criminals and Noncriminals to Fines

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  • Bar-Ilan, Avner
  • Sacerdote, Bruce

Abstract

We use traffic data from a series of experiments in Israel and San Francisco to examine how illegal behavior is deterred by higher fines and whether deterrence varies with personal characteristics such as criminal record, driving record, income, and age. We find that red-light running decreases sharply in response to an increase in the fine. The elasticity of violations with respect to the fine is larger for younger drivers and drivers with older cars. Criminals convicted of violent offenses or property offenses run more red lights on average but have the same elasticity as drivers without a criminal record. Within Israel, members of ethnic minority groups have the smallest elasticity with respect to a fine increase.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 47 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 1-17

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:y:2004:v:47:i:1:p:1-17

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/

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Cited by:
  1. Curry, Philip A. & Klumpp, Tilman, 2009. "Crime, punishment, and prejudice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 73-84, February.
  2. Ali al-Nowaihi & Sanjit Dhami, 2010. "Composite Prospect Theory: A proposal to combine ‘prospect theory’ and ‘cumulative prospect theory’," Discussion Papers in Economics 10/11, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  3. Gregory DeAngelo & Gary Charness, 2012. "Deterrence, expected cost, uncertainty and voting: Experimental evidence," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 73-100, February.
  4. Michael S. Visser & William T. Harbaugh & Naci Mocan, 2006. "An Experimental Test of Criminal Behavior Among Juveniles and Young Adults," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2006-11, University of Oregon Economics Department.
  5. Motta, Alberto & Burlando, Alfredo, 2007. "Self reporting reduces corruption in law enforcement," MPRA Paper 5332, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 23 Jun 2007.
  6. Sanjit Dhami & Ali al-Nowaihi, 2010. "The Behavioral Economics of Crime and Punishment," Discussion Papers in Economics 10/14, Department of Economics, University of Leicester, revised Jul 2010.
  7. Ali al-Nowaihi & Sanjit Dhami, 2010. "The Behavioral Economics of Insurance," Discussion Papers in Economics 10/12, Department of Economics, University of Leicester, revised Apr 2010.
  8. Sarah Marx Quintanar, . "Man vs. Machine: An Investigation of Speeding Ticket Disparities Based on Gender and Race," Departmental Working Papers 2009-16, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  9. Faisal Jamil & Eatzaz Ahmad, 2013. "An Economic Investigation of Corruption and Electricity Theft," PIDE-Working Papers 2013:92, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
  10. Ali al-Nowaihi & Sanjit Dhami, 2010. "Probability Weighting Functions," Discussion Papers in Economics 10/10, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  11. Sanjit Dhami & Ali al-Nowaihi, 2006. "Hang ’em with probability zero: Why does it not work?," Discussion Papers in Economics 06/14, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.

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