Escalating Interest in Escalating Penalties
AbstractEscalating penalties for repeat offenders are a pervasive feature of punishment schemes in a variety of contexts. Economic theory has had a hard time rationalizing this practice, however, because setting the penalty equal to the social cost of an act should achieve optimal deterrence irrespective of the offender’s record. This paper reviews the literature on escalating penalties, and then develops a theory based on uncertainty on the part of enforcers about offenders’ gains from committing socially undesirable acts. The analysis derives the conditions under which escalating penalties are both optimal (cost minimizing) and subgame perfect. JEL Classification: K14, K42 Key words: Criminal punishment, escalating penalties, repeat offenders
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 University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2012-08.
Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: University of Connecticut 341 Mansfield Road, Unit 1063 Storrs, CT 06269-1063
Phone: (860) 486-4889
Fax: (860) 486-4463
Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
- 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-ALL-2012-07-14 (All new papers)
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.:
- A. Mitchell Polinsky & Daniel L. Rubinfeld, 1991.
"A Model of Optimal Fines for Repeat Offenders,"
NBER Working Papers
3739, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- BRYAN C. McCANNON, 2009. "Differentiating Between First And Repeat Offenses," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(1), pages 76-85, 01.
- Rubinstein, Ariel, 1980. "On an anomaly of the deterrent effect of punishment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 89-94.
- Emons, Winand, 2003.
"A note on the optimal punishment for repeat offenders,"
International Review of Law and Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 253-259, September.
- Winand Emons, 2001. "A Note on the Optimal Punishment for Repeat Offenders," Diskussionsschriften dp0104, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
- Winand Emons, .
"Escalating Penalties for Repeat Offenders,"
American Law & Economics Association Annual Meetings
1005, American Law & Economics Association.
- Miceli Thomas J. & Bucci Catherine, 2005.
"A Simple Theory of Increasing Penalties for Repeat Offenders,"
Review of Law & Economics,
De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 71-80, April.
- Thomas J. Miceli & Catherine Bucci, 2004. "A Simple Theory of Increasing Penalties for Repeat Offenders," Working papers 2004-39, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
- Mungan, Murat C., 2010. "Repeat offenders: If they learn, we punish them more severely," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 173-177, June.
- Stigler, George J, 1970.
"The Optimum Enforcement of Laws,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(3), pages 526-36, May-June.
- Funk, Patricia, 2004. "On the effective use of stigma as a crime-deterrent," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 715-728, August.
- Nuno Garoupa, 2004.
"Dynamic Law Enforcement with Learning,"
Journal of Law, Economics and Organization,
Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 192-206, April.
- Gary S. Becker, 1974.
"Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,"
in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Thomas J. Miceli, 2008. "Criminal Sentencing Guidelines And Judicial Discretion," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(2), pages 207-215, 04.
- Baik, Kyung Hwan & Kim, In-Gyu, 2001. "Optimal punishment when individuals may learn deviant values," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 271-285, September.
- Lewin, Jeff L. & Trumbull, William N., 1990. "The social value of crime?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 271-284, December.
- Chu, C. Y. Cyrus & Hu, Sheng-cheng & Huang, Ting-yuan, 2000. "Punishing repeat offenders more severely," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 127-140, March.
- Shavell, Steven, 1987. "A Model of Optimal Incapacitation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 107-10, May.
- Miceli, Thomas J., 2010. "A model of criminal sanctions that incorporate both deterrence and incapacitation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 205-207, May.
- Mungan, Murat C., 2014. "A behavioral justification for escalating punishment schemes," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 189-197.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kasey Kniffin).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.