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Heterogeneity and Optimal Self-Reporting

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  • Eberhard Feess
  • Markus Walzl

Abstract

We consider a model of optimal law enforcement according to which self-reporting may be considered in mitigation. After committing a crime, individuals get a private update of their probability of apprehension. Hence, self-enforcing has an option value of self-reporting, since criminals can decide whether or not to come forward after they have learned their types. We show that the optimal fine reduction is decreasing in the heterogeneity of the criminals' types if types are uniformly distributed. For general distribution functions, however, there are countervailing effects, which are discussed in a concluding section.

Suggested Citation

  • Eberhard Feess & Markus Walzl, 2006. "Heterogeneity and Optimal Self-Reporting," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 162(2), pages 277-290, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(200606)162:2_277:haos_2.0.tx_2-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Innes, Robert, 1999. "Remediation and self-reporting in optimal law enforcement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 379-393, June.
    2. Franzoni, Luigi Alberto, 1996. "Punishment and Grace: On the Economics of Tax Amnesties," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 51(3), pages 353-368.
    3. Alm, James & McKee, Michael J. & Beck, William, 1990. "Amazing Grace: Tax Amnesties and Compliance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 43(1), pages 23-37, March.
    4. Andreoni, James, 1991. "The desirability of a permanent tax amnesty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 143-159, July.
    5. Garoupa, Nuno, 1997. " The Theory of Optimal Law Enforcement," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 267-295, September.
    6. Alm, James & McKee, Michael J. & Beck, William, 1990. "Amazing Grace: Tax Amnesties and Compliance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 43(1), pages 23-37, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:11:y:2006:i:2:p:1-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:kap:regeco:v:52:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11149-017-9329-7 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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