Punishing the Innocent along with the Guilty: The Economics of Individual versus Group Punishment
AbstractStandard models of law enforcement involve the apprehension and punishment of a single suspect, but in many contexts, punishment is imposed on an entire group known to contain the offender. The advantages of group punishment are that the offender is punished with certainty and detection costs are saved. The disadvantage is that innocent individuals are punished. We compare individual and group punishment when social welfare depends on fairness (or retribution) and when it depends on deterrence. We show that group punishment may dominate in the former case if the detection technology is ineffective but never in the latter case. The results broadly reflect the actual use of group punishment in ancient and modern law.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal The Journal of Legal Studies.
Volume (Year): 36 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (01)
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Other versions of this item:
- Thomas J. Miceli & Kathleen Segerson, 2004. "Punishing the Innocent along with the Guilty: The Economics of Individual versus Group Punishment," Working papers 2004-37, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
- K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
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