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Information, Corruption and Optimal Law Enforcement

  • Garoupa, Nuno
  • Jellal, Mohamed

We consider the role of asymmetric information on the emergence of collusion between criminals and enforcers, in the framework proposed by Bowles and Garoupa (1997) and Polinsky and Shavell (2001). Our Paper proposes that the optimal criminal sanction for the underlying offense is not necessarily maximal. We achieve this result by coupling the criminal sanction for the underlying offense with a criminal sanction for corruption, both imposed on offenders. A higher criminal sanction for the underlying offense implies that the government must spend more resources to detect and punish corruption (since the likelihood of collusion increases). Thus, the government could reduce this sanction, save on detection, and increase the criminal sanction for corruption (in order to offset the negative effect on deterrence).

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3560.

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Date of creation: Sep 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3560
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  1. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, June.
  2. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 1999. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," NBER Working Papers 6993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Garoupa, Nuno & Klerman, Daniel, 2004. "Corruption and the optimal use of nonmonetary sanctions," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 219-225, June.
  4. Besley, Timothy & McLaren, John, 1993. "Taxes and Bribery: The Role of Wage Incentives," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(416), pages 119-41, January.
  5. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, I P L, 1995. "Corruptible Law Enforcers: How Should They Be Compensated?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 145-59, January.
  6. Bowles, Roger & Garoupa, Nuno, 1997. "Casual police corruption and the economics of crime," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 75-87, March.
  7. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 1999. "Corruption and Optimal Law Enforcement," NBER Working Papers 6945, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Gary S. Becker & George J. Stigler, 1974. "Law Enforcement, Malfeasance, and Compensation of Enforcers," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 1-18, January.
  9. Marjit, Sugata & Shi, Heling, 1998. "On controlling crime with corrupt officials," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 163-172, January.
  10. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Chang, Juin-jen & Lai, Ching-chong & Yang, C. C., 2000. "Casual police corruption and the economics of crime:: Further results," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 35-51, March.
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