The Response of Criminals and Noncriminals to Fines
We use traffic data from a series of experiments in Israel and San Francisco to examine how illegal behavior is deterred by higher fines and whether deterrence varies with personal characteristics such as criminal record, driving record, income, and age. We find that red-light running decreases sharply in response to an increase in the fine. The elasticity of violations with respect to the fine is larger for younger drivers and drivers with older cars. Criminals convicted of violent offenses or property offenses run more red lights on average but have the same elasticity as drivers without a criminal record. Within Israel, members of ethnic minority groups have the smallest elasticity with respect to a fine increase.
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- Gary S. Becker, 1974.
"Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,"
in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169-169.
- Ehrlich, Isaac, 1975. "The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment: A Question of Life and Death," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 397-417, June.
- Isaac Ehrlich, 1973. "The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment: A Question of Life and Death," NBER Working Papers 0018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.