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Rewarding Policemen Increases Crime. Another Surprising Result from the Inspection Game


  • Luciano Andreozzi



Inspection games are 2x2 games in which one playermust decide whether to inspect the other player, who in turnmust decide whether to infringe a norm or a regulation.Inspection games have a single, mixed strategy Nashequilibrium, which has counter-intuitive comparative staticsproperties. This result has been used by Tsebelis (1989) andHoller (1992) to show that the economic approach to lawenforcement is not likely to generate clear-cut predictions.In this paper I discuss a variant of the inspection game inwhich the inspector can act as a Stackelberg leader. I willalso show that this version of the inspection game hascounter-intuitive comparative statics properties. Inparticular, increasing inspector’s incentives to enforce thelaw increases the frequency of law infractions. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Suggested Citation

  • Luciano Andreozzi, 2004. "Rewarding Policemen Increases Crime. Another Surprising Result from the Inspection Game," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 121(1), pages 69-82, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:121:y:2004:i:1:p:69-82
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-004-6166-x

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Wittman, Donald, 1985. "Counter-intuitive results in game theory," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 77-89.
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    4. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 2008. "Maintaining a Reputation when Strategies are Imperfectly Observed," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: A Long-Run Collaboration On Long-Run Games, chapter 8, pages 143-161 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:83:y:1989:i:01:p:77-91_08 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. 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.
    7. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 2008. "Reputation And Equilibrium Selection In Games With A Patient Player," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: A Long-Run Collaboration On Long-Run Games, chapter 7, pages 123-142 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    8. Cox, Gary W, 1994. "A Note on Crime and Punishment," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 78(1), pages 115-124, January.
    9. Cheng Leonard K. & Zhu Min, 1995. "Mixed-Strategy Nash Equilibrium Based upon Expected Utility and Quadratic Utility," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 139-150, May.
    10. Garoupa, Nuno, 1997. " The Theory of Optimal Law Enforcement," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 267-295, September.
    11. Wittman, Donald, 1993. "Nash equilibrium vs. maximin : A comparative game statics analysis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 559-565, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kirstein, Roland, 2005. "Bayesian Monitoring," CSLE Discussion Paper Series 2005-06, Saarland University, CSLE - Center for the Study of Law and Economics.
    2. Tim Friehe, 2008. "Correlated payoffs in the inspection game: some theory and an application to corruption," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 127-143, October.
    3. Fandel, G. & Trockel, J., 2013. "Avoiding non-optimal management decisions by applying a three-person inspection game," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 226(1), pages 85-93.
    4. Friehe, Tim, 2013. "Tempting righteous citizens? Counterintuitive effects of increasing sanctions in the realm of organized crime," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 37-40.
    5. Bruni, Camilla & Nuño, Juan Carlos & Primicerio, Mario, 2013. "What if criminals optimize their choice? Optimal strategies to defend public goods," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 392(4), pages 840-850.
    6. A. Antoci & S. Borghesi & G. Iannucci, 2016. "Green licenses and environmental corruption: a random matching model," Working Paper CRENoS 201615, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    7. Daniel G. Arce & Walter Enders & Gary A. Hoover, 2008. "Plagiarism And Its Impact On The Economics Profession," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 231-243, July.
    8. Pradiptyo Rimawan, 2007. "Does Punishment Matter? A Refinement of the Inspection Game," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 197-219, August.
    9. Manfred J. Holler, 2013. "On Machiavelli’s conspiracy paradoxes," Chapters,in: Constitutional Economics and Public Institutions, chapter 7, pages 125-145 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Ehud Guttel & Barak Medina, 2007. "Less Crime, More (Vulnerable) Victims: Game Theory and the Distributional Effects of Criminal Sanctions," Discussion Paper Series dp472, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
    11. Dominic Spengler, 2012. "Endogenising Detection in an Asymmetric Penalties Corruption Game," Discussion Papers 12/20, Department of Economics, University of York.
    12. Ehud Guttel & Barak Medina, 2007. "Less Crime, More (Vulnerable) Victims: Game Theory and the Distributional Effects of Criminal Sanctions," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001799, UCLA Department of Economics.
    13. Buechel, Berno & Emrich, Eike & Pohlkamp, Stefanie, 2013. "Nobody's innocent: the role of customers in the doping dilemma," MPRA Paper 44627, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Luciano Andreozzi, 2008. "Inspection games with long-run inspectors," Department of Economics Working Papers 0821, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    15. Pradiptyo, Rimawan, 2011. "A Certain Uncertainty; Assessment of Court Decisions in Tackling Corruption in Indonesia," MPRA Paper 36382, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Manfred J. Holler & Barbara Klose-Ullmann, 2008. "Wallenstein’s Power Problem and Its Consequences," Czech Economic Review, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, vol. 2(3), pages 197-218, December.
    17. repec:bla:ecorec:v:93:y:2017:i:301:p:277-301 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Daniel G. Arce, 2007. "Is Agency Theory Self-Activating?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(4), pages 708-720, October.
    19. Arce, Daniel G., 2010. "Corporate virtue: Treatment of whistle blowers and the punishment of violators," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 363-371, September.
    20. John Bone & Dominic Spengler, 2014. "Does Reporting Decrease Corruption?," Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, , vol. 26(1-2), pages 161-186, January.
    21. Spengler Dominic, 2014. "Endogenous Detection of Collaborative Crime: The Case of Corruption," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-17, July.

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