IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Sind härtere Strafen für Korruption erforderlich?: Ökonomische Überlegungen zur Sanktionierung illegaler Austauschbeziehungen

Listed author(s):
  • Torsten Steinrücken
Registered author(s):

    The article discusses the question, to what extent harder sanctions are suitable to reduce the amount of corruption. Punishments affect the decision of potential offenders in various ways. Therefore it seems doubtful if an aggravation of penalty really causes the desired effects. From economic view a set of reasons speaks against the consideration that higher punishments lead inevitably to dropping the corruption level. With reference to the temporal dimension of the punishment it is furthermore shown, that earlier punishment represents an alternative to the aggravation of penalty. Since humans weigh future payments lower than immediate payments, sanctions have more effect the sooner the sanctions take place. Considering the results of empirical investigations, which show that people devalue future payments relatively strong, it could be assumed, that an immediate punishment and an increased certainty of punishment causes a stronger deterrent effect than an increased severity of sanction. Der vorliegende Beitrag diskutiert die Frage, inwieweit härtere Sanktionen geeignet sind, zur Einschränkung von Korruption beizutragen. Da Strafen auf vielfältige Art und Weise das Entscheidungskalkül von Straftätern beeinflussen, ist nicht zweifelsfrei zu bestimmen, ob eine Strafverschärfung tatsächlich die erwünschten Wirkungen hervorbringt. Aus ökonomischer Sicht spricht eine Reihe von Gründen gegen die Überlegung, dass höhere Strafen zwangsläufig zu einem Absinken des Korruptionsniveaus führen. Unter Bezugnahme auf die zeitliche Dimension der Bestrafung wird ferner gezeigt, dass das Vorziehen von Zwangsmaßnahmen eine Alternative zur Strafverschärfung darstellt. Da Menschen weiter in der Zukunft liegende Auszahlungen geringer gewichten als unmittelbar bevorstehende Auszahlungen, zeigen Sanktionen umso mehr Wirkung, je früher sie auf das strafbare Verhalten erfolgen. Berücksichtigt man zudem Beobachtungen aus der empirischen Sozialforschung, wonach Personen weit in der Zukunft liegende Auszahlungen stark diskontieren, so ist zu vermuten, dass von einer Anhebung der Verurteilungswahrscheinlichkeit und einer frühzeitigen Bestrafung eine stärkere Präventivwirkung ausgeht als von einer Strafverschärfung.

    If 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.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its journal Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung.

    Volume (Year): 73 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 301-317

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:73-20-9
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Mohrenstraße 58, D-10117 Berlin

    Phone: xx49-30-89789-0
    Fax: xx49-30-89789-200
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    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.:

    in new window

    1. Shavell, Steven, 1987. "The Optimal Use of Nonmonetary Sanctions as a Deterrent," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 584-592, September.
    2. George J. Stigler, 1974. "The Optimum Enforcement of Laws," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 55-67 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Rajeev Goel & Daniel Rich, 1989. "On the economic incentives for taking bribes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(3), pages 269-275, June.
    4. Thompson, Velma Montoya & Thompson, Earl A, 1993. "Achieving Optimal Fines for Political Bribery: A Suggested Political Reform," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 77(4), pages 773-791, December.
    5. James Andreoni, 1991. "Reasonable Doubt and the Optimal Magnitude of Fines: Should the Penalty Fit the Crime?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(3), pages 385-395, Autumn.
    6. Lowenstein, George & Prelec, Drazen, 1991. "Negative Time Preference," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 347-352, May.
    7. Chang, Juin-jen & Lai, Ching-chong & Yang, C. C., 2000. "Casual police corruption and the economics of crime:: Further results," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 35-51, March.
    8. Vito Tanzi, 1998. "Corruption Around the World; Causes, Consequences, Scope, and Cures," IMF Working Papers 98/63, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Saul Pleeter & John T. Warner, 2001. "The Personal Discount Rate: Evidence from Military Downsizing Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 33-53, March.
    10. Liew, Leong H., 1992. "Corruption as a form of insurance," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 427-443, October.
    11. Polinsky, Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1979. "The Optimal Tradeoff between the Probability and Magnitude of Fines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 880-891, December.
    12. Bowles, Roger & Garoupa, Nuno, 1997. "Casual police corruption and the economics of crime," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 75-87, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:73-20-9. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bibliothek)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.