On the role of plea bargaining and the distribution of sentences in the absence of judicial system frictions
This paper examines the potential role that plea bargaining may serve in an environment where trials and incarceration are costless, there is no chance of convicting innocent defendants, and coercion is not necessary to obtain further information from arrested defendants. This analysis shows that even in the frictionless judicial system environment outlined above, a risk-averse society may still find it optimal to resolve a large fraction, or even all of its cases through plea bargaining. However, this is not always the case. If defendants are generally risk-loving, mutually acceptable plea bargains may not be possible, but when they are, the plea bargain sentences will necessarily fall short of even the expected sentence from going to trial, regardless of the relative bargaining power between prosecutors and defendants.
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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
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.:
- Grossman, Gene M & Katz, Michael L, 1983. "Plea Bargaining and Social Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 749-57, September.
- Polinsky, A Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1999.
"On the Disutility and Discounting of Imprisonment and the Theory of Deterrence,"
The Journal of Legal Studies,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 1-16, January.
- A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 1997. "On the Disutility and Discounting of Imprisonment and the Theory of Deterrence," NBER Working Papers 6259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Reinganum, Jennifer F., 1986.
"Plea Bargaining and Prosecutorial Discretion,"
616, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Baker, Scott & Mezzetti, Claudio, 2001. "Prosecutorial Resources, Plea Bargaining, and the Decision to Go to Trial," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 149-67, April.
- Kobayashi, Bruce H. & Lott, John Jr., 1992. "Low-probability-high-penalty enforcement strategies and the efficient operation of the plea-bargaining system," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 69-77, March.
- Franzoni, Luigi Alberto, 1999. "Negotiated Enforcement and Credible Deterrence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 509-35, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:28:y:2008:i:1:p:1-7. 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: (Shamier, Wendy)
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.