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Some reflections on the economics of prosecutors: Mandatory vs. selective prosecution

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  • Garoupa, Nuno

Abstract

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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  • Garoupa, Nuno, 2009. "Some reflections on the economics of prosecutors: Mandatory vs. selective prosecution," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-28, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:29:y:2009:i:1:p:25-28
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. William M. Landes, 1974. "An Economic Analysis of the Courts," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 164-214 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. SIDDHARTHA BANDYOPADHYAY & BRYAN C. McCANNON, 2015. "Prosecutorial Retention: Signaling by Trial," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(2), pages 219-256, April.
    2. Matteo Rizzolli & Margherita Saraceno, 2013. "Better that ten guilty persons escape: punishment costs explain the standard of evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 155(3), pages 395-411, June.
    3. Dhammika Dharmapala & Nuno Garoupa & Richard H. McAdams, 2016. "Punitive Police? Agency Costs, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Procedure," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(1), pages 105-141.
    4. Echazu, Luciana & Garoupa, Nuno, 2012. "Why not adopt a loser-pays-all rule in criminal litigation?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 233-241.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Prosecutors Mandatory prosecution Selective prosecution Civil law Common law;

    JEL classification:

    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior

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