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The Response to Fines and Probability of Detection in a Series of Experiments

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  • Avner Bar-Ilan
  • Bruce Sacerdote

Abstract

We use traffic data from a series of experiments in the United States and Israel to examine how illegal behavior is deterred by various penalty schemes and whether deterrence varies with age, income, driving record and criminal record. We find that red light running decreases sharply in response to an increase in the fine or an increase in the probability of being caught. The elasticity of violations with respect to the fine is larger for younger drivers and drivers with older cars. Drivers convicted of violent offenses or property offenses run more red lights on average but have the same elasticity as drivers without a criminal record. Within Israel, members of ethnic minority groups have the smallest elasticity with respect to a fine increase.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8638.

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Date of creation: Dec 2001
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Publication status: published as Bar-Ilan, Avner and Bruce Sacerdote. "Response to Fines and Probabilities in a Natural Experiment." Journal of Law and Economics 47, 1 (April 2004).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8638

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Nicola Persico, 2002. "Racial Profiling, Fairness, and Effectiveness of Policing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1472-1497, December.
  2. Dean Yang, 2004. "Can Enforcement Backfire? Crime Displacement in the Context of Customs Reform in the Philippines," Working Papers 520, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  3. Sanjit Dhami & Ali al-Nowaihi, 2006. "Hang ’em with probability zero: Why does it not work?," Discussion Papers in Economics 06/14, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  4. Ali al-Nowaihi & Sanjit Dhami, 2010. "Probability Weighting Functions," Discussion Papers in Economics 10/10, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  5. Ali al-Nowaihi & Sanjit Dhami, 2010. "Composite Prospect Theory: A proposal to combine ‘prospect theory’ and ‘cumulative prospect theory’," Discussion Papers in Economics 10/11, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  6. Rafael Di Tella & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2004. "Do Police Reduce Crime? Estimates Using the Allocation of Police Forces After a Terrorist Attack," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 115-133, March.
  7. Sanjit Dhami & Ali al-Nowaihi, 2010. "The Behavioral Economics of Crime and Punishment," Discussion Papers in Economics 10/14, Department of Economics, University of Leicester, revised Jul 2010.
  8. Hsiao-Chi Chen & Shi-Miin Liu, 2007. "Dynamic Incentive Contracts in Multiple Penalty Systems with No-commitment to Tenure-track Auditing," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 90(3), pages 255-294, April.

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