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A note on the optimal punishment for repeat offenders

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  • Emons, Winand

Abstract

Agents may commit a crime twice. The act is inefficient so that the agents are to be deterred. The agents are wealth constrained so that increasing the fine for the first offense means a reduction in the sanction for the second offense and vice versa. The agents may follow history dependent strategies. The government seeks to minimize the probability of apprehension. The optimal sanction scheme is decreasing rather than increasing in the number of offenses. Indeed, the sanction for the first offense equals the entire wealth while the sanction for the second offense is zero.
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Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:23:y:2003:i:3:p:253-259
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Steven Shavell & A. Mitchell Polinsky, 2000. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 45-76, March.
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    6. Landsberger, Michael & Meilijson, Isaac, 1982. "Incentive generating state dependent penalty system : The case of income tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 333-352, December.
    7. Emons, Winand, 1989. "On the Limitation of Warranty Duration," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 287-301, March.
    8. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1980. "On an anomaly of the deterrent effect of punishment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 89-94.
    9. Polinsky, A. Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1998. "On offense history and the theory of deterrence," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 305-324, September.
    10. Mitchell Polinsky, A. & Rubinfeld, Daniel L., 1991. "A model of optimal fines for repeat offenders," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 291-306, December.
    11. Burnovski, Moshe & Safra, Zvi, 1994. "Deterrence effects of sequential punishment policies: Should repeat offenders be more severely punished?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 341-350, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Funk, Patricia, 2004. "On the effective use of stigma as a crime-deterrent," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 715-728, August.
    2. E. Motchenkova & P. M. Kort, 2006. "Analysis of Current Penalty Schemes for Violations of Antitrust Laws," Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications, Springer, vol. 128(2), pages 431-451, February.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Eide, Erling & Rubin, Paul H. & Shepherd, Joanna M., 2006. "Economics of Crime," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 2(3), pages 205-279, December.
    6. Emons, Winand, 2007. "Escalating penalties for repeat offenders," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 170-178.
    7. Carole Billiet & Sandra Rousseau, 2014. "How real is the threat of imprisonment for environmental crime?," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 183-198, April.
    8. Lisa R. Anderson & Gregory DeAngelo & Winand Emons & Beth Freeborn & Hannes Lang, 2017. "Penalty Structures And Deterrence In A Two-Stage Model: Experimental Evidence," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1833-1867, October.
    9. Nuno Garoupa, 2004. "Dynamic Law Enforcement with Learning," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 192-206, April.
    10. Bac, Mehmet & Kanti Bag, Parimal, 2009. "Graduated penalty scheme," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 281-289, December.
    11. BRYAN C. McCANNON, 2009. "Differentiating Between First And Repeat Offenses," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(1), pages 76-85, January.
    12. Thomas J. Miceli, 2004. "Sentencing Guidelines, Judicial Discretion, And Social Values," Working papers 2004-23, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    13. Polinsky, A. Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 2007. "The Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
    14. repec:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(201612)172:4_727:beocra_2.0.tx_2-v is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Stan Miles & Derek Pyne, 2015. "Deterring repeat offenders with escalating penalty schedules: a Bayesian approach," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 229-250, August.
    16. Bourgeon, Jean-Marc & Picard, Pierre, 2007. "Point-record driving licence and road safety: An economic approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 235-258, February.
    17. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:11:y:2005:i:2:p:1-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Thomas J. Miceli, 2013. "Escalating Penalties for Repeat Offenders: Why are they So Hard to Explain?," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 169(4), pages 587-604, December.
    19. Thomas J. Miceli, 2012. "Escalating Interest in Escalating Penalties," Working papers 2012-08, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    20. Alfred Endres & Bianca Rundshagen, 2012. "Escalating penalties: a supergame approach," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 29-49, March.
    21. Evgenia Motchenkova, 2014. "Cost minimizing sequential punishment policies for repeat offenders," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(5), pages 360-365, March.
    22. repec:bla:scotjp:v:64:y:2017:i:5:p:467-482 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Thomas J. Miceli, 2008. "Deterrence, Incapacitation, and Repeat Offenders," Working papers 2008-44, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    24. Rousseau, Sandra, 2009. "The use of warnings in the presence of errors," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 191-201, September.
    25. Saori Chiba & Kaiwen Leong, 2016. "Behavioral Economics of Crime Rates and Punishment Levels," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 172(4), pages 727-754, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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