What Do Prosecutors Maximize? An Analysis of Drug Offenders and Concurrent Jurisdiction
AbstractThis paper presents a model of prosecutors' decision-making processes in which prosecutors (both federal and state) internalize some of the benefits of reducing crime, but also care about developing their own human capital. Since U.S. attorneys make their decision first, they have the opportunity to take the cases that will further their human capital development, knowing that the local district attorneys will handle the other cases. Using two surveys on prison admissions, we find that defendants who are better educated, richer, married, white, have higher-paying occupations more likely to be incarcerated in the federal system. Conversely, state prisons are more likely to incarcerate individuals who are particularly likely to be difficult prisoners, despite the supposed advantages of federal prisons in dealing with the most dangerous criminals.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6602.
Date of creation: Jun 1998
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as American Law and Economics Review, Fall 2000; issue 2: 259 - 290.
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Other versions of this item:
- Edward L. Glaeser & Anne Morrison Peihl, 1998. "What Do Prosecutors Maximize? An Analysis of Drug Offenders and Concurrent Jurisdiction," JCPR Working Papers 29, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
- H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-PUB-1998-07-06 (Public Finance)
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- Kessler, Daniel P & Piehl, Anne Morrison, 1998.
"The Role of Discretion in the Criminal Justice System,"
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