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On the deterrent effect of individual versus collective liability in criminal organizations

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Author Info

  • Laetitia Hauret
  • Eric Langlais

    ()
    (CEREFIGE)

  • Cartine Sonntag

    (ICN Business School)

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    Abstract

    Our paper addresses the question of the deterrent effect of a monetary sanction associated to a collective rather than an individual liability, when crimes are realized within a hierarchical gang (defined as a criminal organization where the leader is a sleeping partner, and several agents are active partners in the illegal or criminal activity). We develop a model where the active gang members face contradictory incentives to commit a crime. On the one hand, public authorities try to deter each gang member by imposing sanctions; on the second, the leader of the gang try to keep his members enough active in the gang by threatening them of private sanctions. We show that sanctions based on individual liability are inefficient to deter gang’s members since the leader overreacts on the public sanctions. In contrast, we show that a regime of collective liability, allowing the judge to sanction the sleeping partner even if he hasn’t realized any crime himself, can reach enough deterrence of the members of the gang.

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    File URL: http://cerefige.univ-lorraine.fr/sites/cerefige.univ-lorraine.fr/files/users/cahier_de_recherche_langlais_03_09.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by CEREFIGE (Centre Europeen de Recherche en Economie Financiere et Gestion des Entreprises), Universite de Lorraine in its series Cahiers du CEREFIGE with number 0903.

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    Length: 21 pages
    Date of creation: 2009
    Date of revision: 2009
    Handle: RePEc:fie:wpaper:0903

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    Related research

    Keywords: Gangs deterrence; individual and collective liability; optimal law enforcement;

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    References

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    1. Abdala Mansour & Nicolas Marceau & Steeve Mongrain, 2006. "Gangs and Crime Deterrence," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(2), pages 315-339, October.
    2. Shavell, Steven, 1997. "The optimal level of corporate liability given the limited ability of corporations to penalize their employees," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 203-213, June.
    3. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Sah, Raaj K, 1991. "Social Osmosis and Patterns of Crime," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1272-95, December.
    5. Anne C. Case & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects of Family and Neighborhood on Disadvantaged Youths," NBER Working Papers 3705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. 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.
    7. Edward E. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1738, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    8. Privileggi, Fabio & Marchese, Carla & Cassone, Alberto, 2001. "Agent's liability versus principal's liability when attitudes toward risk differ," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 181-195, June.
    9. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, December.
    10. Garoupa, Nuno, 2007. "Optimal law enforcement and criminal organization," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 461-474, July.
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