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Crime and Punishment and Corruption: Who Needs "Untouchables?"

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  • EMILSON C. D. SILVA
  • CHARLES M. KAHN
  • XIE ZHU

Abstract

Becker's result that fines should be maximized is also applicable to some social environments where law enforcers are corrupt. If the regulated activity is legal, the principal may efficiently deter crime without an anti-corruption unit. An opportunistic anti-corruption unit, even when corrupt, becomes useful for the principal when the activity is illegal, since the principal's goal of maximizing fines motivates the unit to collect bribes from the enforcer, which subsequently induces the enforcer to be nearly completely honest, minimizing corruption. Therefore, we show that there is not necessarily an infinite regress originating with the puzzle of who polices the police. Copyright 2007 Blackwell Publishing, Inc..

Suggested Citation

  • Emilson C. D. Silva & Charles M. Kahn & Xie Zhu, 2007. "Crime and Punishment and Corruption: Who Needs "Untouchables?"," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(1), pages 69-87, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:9:y:2007:i:1:p:69-87
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Faisal Jamil & Eatzaz Ahmad, 2013. "An Economic Investigation of Corruption and Electricity Theft," PIDE-Working Papers 2013:92, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    2. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00768900 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Kouroche Vafaï, 2012. "Supervision in Firms," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 12084, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    4. Fahad Khalil & Jacques Lawarrée & Sungho Yun, 2010. "Bribery versus extortion: allowing the lesser of two evils," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(1), pages 179-198.
    5. Fahad Khalil & Jacques Lawarrée & Sungho Yun, 2007. "Bribery vs. Extortion: Allowing the Lesser of two Evils," CESifo Working Paper Series 1993, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Kouroche Vafaï, 2012. "Supervision in Firms," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00768900, HAL.
    7. Kouroche Vafaï, 2012. "Optimal Organization," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(1), pages 518-527.
    8. Bobkova, Nina & Egbert, Henrik, 2012. "Corruption investigated in the lab: a survey of the experimental literature," MPRA Paper 38163, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Naoto Aoyama & Emilson C.D. Silva, 2017. "Asymmetric Innovation Agreements under Environmental Regulation," CESifo Working Paper Series 6782, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. repec:eee:jeborg:v:145:y:2018:i:c:p:232-248 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Cracau, Daniel & Franz, Benjamin, 2013. "Bonus payments as an anti-corruption instrument: A theoretical approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(1), pages 1-4.

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