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Optimal Sanctions When Individuals Are Imperfectly Informed about the Probability of Apprehension

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  • Bebchuk, Lucian Arye
  • Kaplow, Louis

Abstract

This paper considers optimal enforcement when individuals may be imperfectly informed about the probability of apprehension. When individuals are perfectly informed, optimal sanctions are maximal because, as Gary Becker (1968) suggested, society can economize on enforcement resources by reducing the probability of apprehension while increasing sanctions. But when individuals imperfectly observe the probability of apprehension, it may be optimal to apply lower sanctions while expending more enforcement resources.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Legal Studies.

Volume (Year): 21 (1992)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 365-70

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:21:y:1992:i:2:p:365-70

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

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  1. Sah, R.K., 1990. "Social Osmosis And Patterns Of Crime: A Dynamic Economic Analysis," Papers 609, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  2. Arun S. Malik, 1990. "Avoidance, Screening and Optimum Enforcement," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(3), pages 341-353, Autumn.
  3. Kaplow, Louis, 1990. "Optimal Deterrence, Uninformed Individuals, and Acquiring Information about Whether Acts Are Subject to Sanctions," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 93-128, Spring.
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