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Specific versus General Enforcement of Law

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  • Shavell, Steven

Abstract

Optimal enforcement of law is examined in a model with specific enforcement effort--effort devoted toward apprehending individuals who have committed a single type of harmful act--and general enforcement effort--effort devoted toward apprehending individuals who have committed any of a range of harmful acts (a police officer on patrol, for instance, is able to apprehend many types of violators of law). If enforcement effort is specific, optimal sanctions are extreme for all acts. If enforcement effort is general, however, optimal sanctions rise with the harmfulness of acts and reach the extreme only for the most harmful acts. Copyright 1991 by University of Chicago Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 99 (1991)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 1088-1108

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:99:y:1991:i:5:p:1088-1108

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

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