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Subgame Perfect Punishment for Repeat Offenders

  • Emons, Winand

First we show that for wealth-constrained agents who may commit an act twice, the optimal sanctions are the offender's entire wealth for the first crime, and zero for the second. Then we ask whether this decreasing sanction scheme is subgame perfect (time consistent), i.e., does a rent-seeking government stick to this sanction scheme after the first crime has occurred? If the benefit and/or the harm from the crime are not too large, this is indeed the case; otherwise, equal sanctions for both crimes are optimal.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3667.

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Date of creation: Nov 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3667
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  1. Nuno Garoupa & Daniel Klerman, 2002. "Optimal Law Enforcement with a Rent-Seeking Government," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 116-140, January.
  2. Robin Boadway & Michael Keen, 1993. "Evasion and time consistency in the taxation of capital income," IFS Working Papers W93/20, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Burnovski, Moshe & Safra, Zvi, 1994. "Deterrence effects of sequential punishment policies: Should repeat offenders be more severely punished?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 341-350, September.
  4. 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.
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