Elected vs appointed public law enforcers
AbstractThis paper revisits the issue of law enforcement and the design of monetary sanctions when the public law enforcer's incentives depart from those of a benevolent authority, which is the most frequent assumption made in the literature on crime deterrence. We first consider the case an elected enforcer. We find that when the harm generated by offenses is quite small relative to the average private benefits, equilibrium with weak enforcement/low sanction prevails. Instead, when the harm generated by offenses is high relative to the average private benefits, it is the equilibrium with strong enforcement/high sanctions that prevails. Therefore, we provide an explanation for the empirical puzzle highlighted by Lin(2007): elected enforcers punish major (minor) crimes more (less) severely than the benevolent social planer. The case of an appointed enforcer prone to rent seeking is also considered. The monetary sanction under rent seeking is closer to the utilitarian level, as compared with the one under election.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CRESE in its series Working Papers with number 2013-06.
Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2013
Date of revision:
law enforcement; deterrence; monetary sanctions; punishment; electoral competition; democracy; rent seeking; dictature.;
Other versions of this item:
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
- H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
- K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
- K23 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Regulated Industries and Administrative Law
- K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-09-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2013-09-13 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-CTA-2013-09-13 (Contract Theory & Applications)
- NEP-HRM-2013-09-13 (Human Capital & Human Resource Management)
- NEP-LAW-2013-09-13 (Law & Economics)
- NEP-PBE-2013-09-13 (Public Economics)
- NEP-POL-2013-09-13 (Positive Political Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Nuno Garoupa & Daniel Klerman, 2002. "Optimal Law Enforcement with a Rent-Seeking Government," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 116-140, January.
- Andrew Dyke, 2007. "Electoral cycles in the administration of criminal justice," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 133(3), pages 417-437, December.
- Steven Shavell & A. Mitchell Polinsky, 2000.
"The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 45-76, March.
- Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
- Meloni, Osvaldo, 2012. "Is there an electoral-motivated crime rate cycle? Evidence from Argentina," MPRA Paper 40177, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Cristian Pop-Eleches & Andrei Shleifer, 2003.
"Judicial Checks and Balances,"
NBER Working Papers
9775, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Louis Kaplow & Steven Shavell, 2001. "Any Non-welfarist Method of Policy Assessment Violates the Pareto Principle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 281-286, April.
- Gary S. Becker, 1968.
"Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
- Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004.
"The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government,"
Economics Working Papers
0020, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
- Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
- Eric Maskin, 2003. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," Theory workshop papers 505798000000000076, UCLA Department of Economics.
- F. Andrew Hanssen, 2004. "Is There a Politically Optimal Level of Judicial Independence?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 712-729, June.
- 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.
- Lin, Ming-Jen, 2007. "Does democracy increase crime? The evidence from international data," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 467-483, September.
- David Friedman, 1999. "Why Not Hang Them All: The Virtues of Inefficient Punishment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S259-S269, December.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2007.
"Bureaucrats or Politicians? Part I: A Single Policy Task,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 169-179, March.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2007. "Bureaucrats or Politicians? Part I: A Single Policy Task," Levine's Working Paper Archive 321307000000000870, David K. Levine.
- Jennifer Reinganum, 2000. "Sentencing Guidelines, Judicial Discretion, and Plea Bargaining," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(1), pages 62-81, Spring.
- Gradstein, Mark, 1993. "Rent Seeking and the Provision of Public Goods," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(420), pages 1236-43, September.
- Daniel M. Klerman, 2005. "The Value of Judicial Independence: Evidence from Eighteenth Century England," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 1-27.
- Ingolf Dittmann, 2006. "The Optimal Use of Fines and Imprisonment If Governments Do Not Maximize Welfare," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 8(4), pages 677-695, October.
- Roger Bowles & Michael Faure & Nuno Garoupa, 2008. "The scope of criminal law and criminal sanctions: An economic view and policy implications," Working Papers 2008-03, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Denis Jeanney).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.