Property Rights, Theft, and Efficiency: The Biblical Waiver of Fines in the Case of Confessed Theft
In this paper we show that costs associated with infractions of property rights, such as theft, can be reduced by imposing lower penal-ties on individuals who admit to such infractions and make restitution. We find that the socially optimal penalty on a confessed thief may be zero (complete amnesty) or even negative – a person may be given a reward for confessing a theft. The benefits of amnesties were apparently recognized in ancient times and they constitute part of Biblical Law. Moreover, such amnesties have also been informally incorporated into modern legal systems, wherein leniency (a form of partial amnesty) is generally shown to individuals who confess their infractions.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2001|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Faculty of Social Sciences, Bar Ilan University 52900 Ramat-Gan|
Phone: Phone: +972-3-5318345
Web page: http://www.biu.ac.il/soc/ec
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Innes, Robert, 2000. "Self-Reporting in Optimal Law Enforcement When Violators Have Heterogeneous Probabilities of Apprehension," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 287-300, January.
- Malik, Arun S. & Schwab, Robert M., 1991. "The economics of tax amnesties," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 29-49, October.
- Carla Marchese & Alberto Cassone, 2000. "Tax Amnesty as Price-Discriminating Behavior by a Monopolistic Government," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 21-32, January.
- Kaplow, Louis & Shavell, Steven, 1994.
"Optimal Law Enforcement with Self-Reporting of Behavior,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 583-606, June.
- Louis Kaplow & Steven Shavell, 1991. "Optimal Law Enforcement with Self-Reporting of Behavior," NBER Working Papers 3822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Innes, Robert, 1999. "Remediation and self-reporting in optimal law enforcement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 379-393, June. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:biu:wpaper:2001-18. 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: (Department of Economics)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.