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Setting Standards for Credible Compliance and Law Enforcement

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  • Marcel Boyer

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  • Tracy Lewis

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  • Wei Lin Liu

Abstract

This paper examines the setting of optimal legal standards to simultaneously induce parties to invest in care and to motivate law enforcers to detect violators of the law. The strategic interaction between care providers and law enforcers determines the degree of efficiency achieved by the standards. Our principal finding is that some divergence between the marginal benefits and marginal costs of providing care is required to control enforcement costs. Further, the setting of standards may effectively substitute for the setting of fines when penalties for violation are fixed. In particular, maximal fines may be welfare reducing when standards are set optimally. Nous considérons dans cet article la détermination, en information incomplète, de normes légales optimales pour à la fois inciter les citoyens à faire preuve de diligence (prévention) et motiver les agents de la paix à veiller au respect des lois. L'interaction stratégique entre citoyens et agents de la paix détermine l'efficacité des normes choisies. Notre résultat principal est à l'effet qu'un écart entre bénéfices marginaux et coûts marginaux de la diligence est nécessaire afin de réduire les coûts d'application des lois. De plus, les normes peuvent être un substitut aux amendes lorsque les pénalités pour infraction sont fixes. Des amendes maximales peuvent en particulier être contre-indiquées lorsque les normes sont optimalement déterminées.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 96s-27.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 1996
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Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:96s-27

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Related research

Keywords: Law Enforcement; Legal Standards; Fines; Strategic Behavior; Normes légales; amendes; respect des lois; comportement stratégique;

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References

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  1. Graetz, Michael J. & Reinganum, Jennifer F. & Wilde, Louis L., . "The Tax Compliance Game: Toward an Interactive Theory of Law Enforcement," Working Papers 589, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  2. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, I P L, 1992. "Monitoring vis-a-vis Investigation in Enforcement of Law," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 556-65, June.
  3. Gary S. Becker & George J. Stigler, 1974. "Law Enforcement, Malfeasance, and Compensation of Enforcers," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 1-18, January.
  4. Jean-Jacques LAFFONT & Jean TIROLE, 1990. "The Politics of Government Decision-Making : a Theory of Regulatory Capture," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9004, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  5. Harrington, Winston, 1988. "Enforcement leverage when penalties are restricted," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 29-53, October.
  6. Tirole, Jean, 1991. "Collusion and the Theory of Organizations," IDEI Working Papers 9, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  7. Stigler, George J, 1970. "The Optimum Enforcement of Laws," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(3), pages 526-36, May-June.
  8. Guesnerie, Roger & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1984. "A complete solution to a class of principal-agent problems with an application to the control of a self-managed firm," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 329-369, December.
  9. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
  10. Andreoni, J., 1989. "Reasonable Doubt And The Optimal Magnitude Of Fines: Should The Penalty Fit The Crime," Working papers 8908, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  11. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1990. "The Politics of Government Decision Making: Regulatory Institutions," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 1-31, Spring.
  12. Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Hierarchies and Bureaucracies: On the Role of Collusion in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 181-214, Fall.
  13. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, I P L, 1994. "Marginal Deterrence in Enforcement of Law," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 1039-66, October.
  14. Kaplow, Louis & Shavell, Steven, 1994. "Optimal Law Enforcement with Self-Reporting of Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 583-606, June.
  15. William M. Landes & Richard A. Posner, 1974. "The Private Enforcement of Law," NBER Working Papers 0062, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Polinsky, Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1979. "The Optimal Tradeoff between the Probability and Magnitude of Fines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 880-91, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Motta, Alberto & Burlando, Alfredo, 2007. "Self reporting reduces corruption in law enforcement," MPRA Paper 5332, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 23 Jun 2007.
  2. Marceau, Nicolas & Mongrain, Steeve, 1999. "Dissuader le crime : un survol," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 75(1), pages 123-147, mars-juin.
  3. Marie-Laure Allain & Marcel Boyer & Rachidi Kotchoni & Jean-Pierre Ponssard, 2011. "The Determination of Optimal Fines in Cartel Cases The Myth of Underdeterrence," Working Papers hal-00631432, HAL.
  4. Marcel Boyer & Donatella Porrini, 2007. "Sharing Liability Between Banks and Firms: The Case of Industrial Safety Risk," CIRANO Working Papers 2007s-04, CIRANO.
  5. Boyer, Marcel, 1996. "L’économie des organisations," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 72(3), pages 247-274, septembre.
  6. Marcel Boyer & Donatella Porrini, 2004. "Modelling the choice between regulation and liability in terms of social welfare," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(3), pages 590-612, August.
  7. Marcel Boyer & Donatella Porrini, 2010. "The Impact of Court Errors on Liability Sharing and Safety Regulation for Environmental/Industrial Accidents," CIRANO Working Papers 2010s-48, CIRANO.
  8. Goeschl, Timo & Jürgens, Ole, 2012. "Explaining uniformity in rule design: The role of citizen participation in enforcement," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 166-177.
  9. Marcel Boyer, 1997. "L'économie des organisations : Mythes et réalités," CIRANO Working Papers 97s-02, CIRANO.
  10. Jellal, Mohamed & Garoupa, Nuno, 2004. "Dynamic law enforcement with learning," MPRA Paper 38480, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Marcel Boyer & Donatella Porrini, 2010. "Optimal liability sharing and court errors: an exploratory analysis," Working Papers hal-00463913, HAL.
  12. Marcel Boyer & Donatella Porrini, 2000. "Law versus Regulation: A Political Economy Model of Instrument Choice in Environmental Policy," CIRANO Working Papers 2000s-57, CIRANO.
  13. Marie-Laure Allain & Marcel Boyer & Rachidi Kotchoni & Jean-Pierre Ponssard, 2013. "Are Cartel Fines Optimal? Theory and Evidence from the European Union," CIRANO Working Papers 2013s-24, CIRANO.

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