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A Note on Optimal Law Enforcement under Asymmetric Information

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  • Nuno Garoupa

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  • Mohamed Jellal

Abstract

We show that the probability of apprehension and punishment is usually reduced in a framework with asymmetric information, leading to more offenses being committed. A positive correlation between crime and asymmetry of information in the enforcement process is established. Some suggestions concerning the efficiency of private versus public enforcement are drawn.
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Suggested Citation

  • Nuno Garoupa & Mohamed Jellal, 2002. "A Note on Optimal Law Enforcement under Asymmetric Information," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 5-13, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:ejlwec:v:14:y:2002:i:1:p:5-13
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1015677632233
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hausman, Jerry A & Poterba, James M, 1987. "Household Behavior and the Tax Reform Act of 1986," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 101-119, Summer.
    2. Steven Shavell & A. Mitchell Polinsky, 2000. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 45-76, March.
    3. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, January.
    4. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. A. Mitchell Polinsky, 1979. "Private versus Public Enforcement of Fines," NBER Working Papers 0338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Nuno Garoupa & Daniel Klerman, 2002. "Optimal Law Enforcement with a Rent-Seeking Government," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 116-140, January.
    7. Guesnerie, Roger & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1984. "A complete solution to a class of principal-agent problems with an application to the control of a self-managed firm," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 329-369, December.
    8. Garoupa, Nuno, 1997. " The Theory of Optimal Law Enforcement," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 267-295, September.
    9. Shavell, Steven, 1993. "The Optimal Structure of Law Enforcement," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 255-287, April.
    10. Ballard, Charles L & Shoven, John B & Whalley, John, 1985. "General Equilibrium Computations of the Marginal Welfare Costs of Taxes in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 128-138, March.
    11. William M. Landes & Richard A. Posner, 1974. "The Private Enforcement of Law," NBER Working Papers 0062, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Garoupa, Nuno, 1997. "A note on private enforcement and type-I error," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 423-429, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gorkem Celik & Serdar Sayan, 2008. "On the optimality of nonmaximal fines in the presence of corruptible law enforcers," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 12(3), pages 209-227, September.
    2. Nuno Garoupa, 2004. "Punish Once or Punish Twice: A Theory of the Use of Criminal Sanctions in Addition to Regulatory Penalties," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 410-433.
    3. Rouillon, S├ębastien, 2010. "Optimal law enforcement with costly public funds," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 345-348, December.
    4. Celik, Gorkem & Sayan, Serdar, 2005. "To Give In or Not To Give In To Bribery? Setting the Optimal Fines for Violations of Rules when the Enforcers are Likely to Ask for Bribes," Microeconomics.ca working papers celik-05-08-03-12-50-26, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 06 Aug 2008.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fine; probability of detection; asymmetry of information;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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