Escalating penalties for repeat offenders
Agents may commit a crime twice. The act is inefficient so that the agents are to be deterred. Even if an agent is law abiding, she may still commit the act accidentally. The agents are wealth constrained. The government seeks to minimize the probability of apprehension. If the benefit from the crime is small, the optimal sanction scheme is decreasing in the number of offenses. By contrast, if the benefit is large, sanctions are increasing in the number of offenses. Increasing sanctions do not make the criminal track less attractive; they make being honest more attractive.
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Winand Emons, 2001.
"A Note on the Optimal Punishment for Repeat Offenders,"
dp0104, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
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- George J. Stigler, 1974.
"The Optimum Enforcement of Laws,"
in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 55-67
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Winand Emons, 2004.
"Subgame-Perfect Punishment for Repeat Offenders,"
Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(3), pages 496-502, July.
- A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 1999.
"The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law,"
NBER Working Papers
6993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Rubinstein, Ariel, 1980. "On an anomaly of the deterrent effect of punishment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 89-94.
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