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.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Anonymous, 1998. "Research Updates," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 29(1), pages -, February.
- Gary S. Becker, 1968.
"Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169-169.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 1999.
"The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law,"
NBER Working Papers
6993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Polinsky, Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1979. "The Optimal Tradeoff between the Probability and Magnitude of Fines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 880-891, December.
- ., 1998. "Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes," Chapters, in: The Handbook of Economic Methodology, chapter 70 Edward Elgar Publishing.
- Arlen, Jennifer, 1994. "The Potentially Perverse Effects of Corporate Criminal Liability," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 832-867, June.
- Williamson, Oliver E, 1983. "Credible Commitments: Using Hostages to Support Exchange," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 519-540, September.
- Stigler, George J, 1970.
"The Optimum Enforcement of Laws,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(3), pages 526-536, May-June.
- Harris, John R, 1970. "On the Economics of Law and Order," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 165-174, Jan.-Feb..
- Varian, H.R., 1989. "Monitoring Agents With Other Agents," Papers 89-18, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
- Eric Rasmusen, 1987. "Moral Hazard in Risk-Averse Teams," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(3), pages 428-435, Autumn.
- Miceli, Thomas J., 1991. "Optimal criminal procedure: Fairness and deterrence," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 3-10, May.
- Segerson, Kathleen, 1988. "Uncertainty and incentives for nonpoint pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 87-98, March.
- Bengt Holmstrom, 1981.
"Moral Hazard in Teams,"
471, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- 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.
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.