Some reflections on the economics of prosecutors: Mandatory vs. selective prosecution
Mandatory prosecution is inefficient according to legal economists. We argue that when prosecutors are fairly insulated from their performance or are highly risk-averse mandatory prosecution is better than selective prosecution. This result has important implications for comparative law. We use our findings to provide a positive explanation for the stylized fact that mandatory prosecution generally prevails in civil law jurisdictions whereas selective prosecution is typical of common law jurisdictions.
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