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Does Crime Pay? A Classroom Demonstration of Monitoring and Enforcement

  • Lisa R. Anderson

    ()

    (The College of William and Mary, Department of Economics)

  • Sarah L. Stafford

    ()

    (The College of William and Mary, Department of Economics)

This article presents a classroom game in which students choose whether or not to comply with pollution regulations. By varying the level of monitoring and fines for noncompliance, the game shows students how the probability and severity of enforcement affects incentives for compliance. The game can be adapted for settings other than environmental regulation and can be used in a variety of classes including regulation, law and economics, environmental economics, public economics, or economics of crime classes. It can easily be conducted in a 50-minute class period.

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Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 72 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 1016–1025

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:72:4:y:2006:p:1016-1025
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.southerneconomic.org/

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  1. Harrington, Winston, 1988. "Enforcement leverage when penalties are restricted," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 29-53, October.
  2. James Andreoni & Brian Erard & Jonathan Feinstein, 1998. "Tax Compliance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 818-860, June.
  3. Block, Michael K & Gerety, Vernon E, 1995. "Some Experimental Evidence on Differences between Student and Prisoner Reactions to Monetary Penalties and Risk," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 123-38, January.
  4. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  5. Anderson, Lisa R & Stafford, Sarah L, 2003. "Punishment in a Regulatory Setting: Experimental Evidence from the VCM," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 91-110, July.
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