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Optimal Justice in a General Equilibrium Model with Non Observable Individual Productivities

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  • Pierre Lasserre

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  • Antoine Soubeyran

Abstract

In this general equilibrium model, justice and police institutions are treated as a mechanism that induces individuals to extend some desirable productive effort. This determines individual encroachment activities which in turn determine the proportion of aggregate production that fails to be appropriated, and the private incentives to choose productive activities. Since individuals have different productive abilities society would ideally take both equity and efficiency into consideration in the design of its institutions: encroachment is a form of redistribution from the most talented individuals to the least talented ones. We study the stylized properties that should arise when individual productivities are not observable by the system, and when both detection levels and justice accurary are costly instruments. Nous étudions dans un modèle d'équilibre général le rôle du système judiciaire comme instrument d'allocation des activités de production et de prédation. Les décisions individuelles se prennent compte tenu, à la fois des sentences que l'on peut escompter à la suite d'activités prohibées, et de la mesure dans laquelle, à l'équilibre, les producteurs peuvent s'approprier le fruit de leurs efforts. Comme les capacités productives diffèrent d'une personne à l'autre, il est socialement désirable de prendre en compte des considérations d'équité et d'efficacité dans la conception des institutions : la prédation est une forme de redistribution des plus productifs vers les moins productifs. Nous étudions les faits stylisés qui caractériseraient un tel système lorsque les productivités individuelles ne sont pas observables et que tant le niveau de détection que la précision des décisions de justice sont des caractéristiques coûteuses des institutions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 99s-37.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 1999
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Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:99s-37

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Keywords: Justice; institutions; incentives; crime; information; observability; agency; general equilibrium; Justice; institutions; incitations; crime; information; observabilité; agence; équilibre général;

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  1. de Meza, David & Gould, J R, 1992. "The Social Efficiency of Private Decisions to Enforce Property Rights," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 561-80, June.
  2. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1975. "The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment: A Question of Life and Death," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 397-417, June.
  3. Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-80, January.
  4. Shavell, Steven, 1991. "Specific versus General Enforcement of Law," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 1088-1108, October.
  5. Neary, Hugh M, 1997. "Equilibrium Structure in an Economic Model of Conflict," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(3), pages 480-94, July.
  6. Bebchuk, Lucian Arye & Kaplow, Louis, 1992. "Optimal Sanctions When Individuals Are Imperfectly Informed about the Probability of Apprehension," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 365-70, June.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  10. Lasserre, Pierre, 1994. "Protection décentralisée des droits de propriété, police et justice," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 70(2), pages 177-189, juin.
  11. Nicolas Marceau & Steeve Mongrain, 1999. "Dissuader le crime," Cahiers de recherche du Département des sciences économiques, UQAM 9902, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
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