Punishing the Innocent along with the Guilty: The Economics of Individual versus Group Punishment
Standard models of law enforcement involve the apprehension and punishment of a single suspect, but in many contexts, punishment is imposed on an entire group known to contain the offender. The advantages of group punishment are that the offender is punished with certainty and detection costs are saved. The disadvantage is that innocent individuals are punished. We compare individual and group punishment when social welfare depends on fairness (or retribution) and when it depends on deterrence. We show that group punishment may dominate in the former case if the detection technology is ineffective but never in the latter case. The results broadly reflect the actual use of group punishment in ancient and modern law.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Xepapadeas, A. P., 1991. "Environmental policy under imperfect information: Incentives and moral hazard," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 113-126, March.
- Nuno Garoupa, 2000.
"Corporate criminal law and organization incentives: A managerial perspective,"
Economics Working Papers
529, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- Nuno Garoupa, 2000. "Corporate criminal law and organization incentives: a managerial perspective," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(6), pages 243-252.
- Steven Shavell, 1983.
"Uncertainty Over Causation and the Determination of Civil Liability,"
NBER Working Papers
1219, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Shavell, Steven, 1985. "Uncertainty over Causation and the Determination of Civil Liability," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(3), pages 587-609, October.
- Peter S. Menell, 1991. "The Limitations of Legal Institutions for Addressing Environmental Risks," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 93-113, Summer.
- Miceli, Thomas J., 1991. "Optimal criminal procedure: Fairness and deterrence," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 3-10, May.
- Harris, John R, 1970. "On the Economics of Law and Order," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 165-74, Jan.-Feb..
- Segerson, Kathleen, 1988. "Uncertainty and incentives for nonpoint pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 87-98, March.
- Varian, H.R., 1989. "Monitoring Agents With Other Agents," Papers 89-18, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:36:y:2007:p:81-106. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.