Group attitude and hybrid sanctions: Micro-econometric evidence from traffic law
In many legal domains hybrid sanctions – i.e. the joint use of both monetary and non-monetary sanctions – are usually applied. We suggest that one possible rationale behind this form of sanction is targeting group-specific deterrence. For some groups of agents, hybrid sanctions act indeed as a self-selection mechanism such that deterrence is obtained only after a critical threshold of infractions is reached. We apply our model to traffic law infractions and further test it, performing a micro-econometric analysis on a unique dataset of a representative sample of 50,000 Italian drivers, over six years (2003–2009), after the introduction of a penalty points system. Our findings empirically confirm our theoretical predictions. When repeated infractions are at stake, well-designed hybrid sanctions, such as the penalty point system designed for traffic law enforcement, may indeed increase overall deterrence. Our results shed new light on the role of the combined monetary and non-monetary sanctions to perform general and specific deterrence.
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Volume (Year): 78 (2015)
Issue (Month): C ()
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