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Self-Reporting, Investigation, and Evidentiary Standards

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  • Heiko Gerlach

Abstract

Self-reporting schemes have become a substantial part of law enforcement. This paper analyzes the optimal use of such schemes when the authority cannot commit to an ex post investigation effort. I show that this leads to a negative relationship between self-reporting incentives and investigation effort. Three main conclusions arise. First, violators self-report with a probability of 1 if and only if full amnesty is offered. Second, self-reporting schemes are not efficient when the level of harm of the act is high. Finally, authorities can increase the incentives to self-report when they convict without hard evidence. However, a hard-evidence standard provides more deterrence and is weakly welfare superior.

Suggested Citation

  • Heiko Gerlach, 2013. "Self-Reporting, Investigation, and Evidentiary Standards," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(4), pages 1061-1090.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/674098
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:elg:eechap:17978_4 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
    3. Catarina Marvão & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2018. "Cartels and leniency: Taking stock of what we learnt," Chapters,in: Handbook of Game Theory and Industrial Organization, Volume II, chapter 4, pages 57-90 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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