IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/crb/wpaper/2020-09.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Accuracy and Preferences for Legal Error

Author

Listed:
  • Murat C. Mungan

    (Antonin Scalia Law School George Mason University)

  • Marie Obidzinski

    (Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas, CRED EA 7321, 75005 Paris, France)

  • Yves Oytana

    (CRESE EA3190, Univ. Bourgogne Franche-Comté, F-25000 Besançon, France)

Abstract

We study how legal procedures may evolve over time in response to technological advancements which increase the accuracy of evidence collection methods. First, we show that accuracy and type-1 errors (wrongful findings of liability) must reduce each other's effectiveness in mitigating optimal type-2 errors (wrongful failures to assign liability) for previous results in the literature to hold. When this condition holds, for major crimes the median voter's tolerance for type-1 errors is reduced as the legal system's accuracy increases. However, this relationship need not hold for minor offenses. Our analysis also reveals that legal processes that emerge under electoral pressures convict more often than is optimal but less often than necessary to maximize deterrence. Moreover, when the median voter's preferences are implemented, an increase in accuracy can counter-intuitively reduce welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Murat C. Mungan & Marie Obidzinski & Yves Oytana, 2020. "Accuracy and Preferences for Legal Error," Working Papers 2020-09, CRESE.
  • Handle: RePEc:crb:wpaper:2020-09
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://crese.univ-fcomte.fr/uploads/wp/WP-2020-09.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2020
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marie Obidzinski & Yves Oytana, 2020. "Presumption of Innocence and Deterrence," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 176(2), pages 377-412.
    2. Lando Henrik, 2009. "Prevention of Crime and the Optimal Standard of Proof in Criminal Law," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 33-52, January.
    3. Mungan, Murat C. & Samuel, Andrew, 2019. "Mimicking, errors, and the optimal standard of proof," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 174(C), pages 18-21.
    4. 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.
    5. Demougin, Dominique & Fluet, Claude, 2006. "Preponderance of evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 963-976, May.
    6. Marie Obidzinski, 2019. "Accuracy in Public Law Enforcement under Political Competition," Supreme Court Economic Review, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 195-212.
    7. Murat C. Mungan, 2011. "A Utilitarian Justification for Heightened Standards of Proof in Criminal Trials," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 167(2), pages 352-370, June.
    8. Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 2011. "Laws and Norms," NBER Working Papers 17579, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Kaplow, Louis & Shavell, Steven, 1994. "Accuracy in the Determination of Liability," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 1-15, April.
    10. Matteo Rizzolli & Margherita Saraceno, 2013. "Better that ten guilty persons escape: punishment costs explain the standard of evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 155(3), pages 395-411, June.
    11. Éric Langlais & Marie Obidzinski, 2017. "Law Enforcement with a Democratic Government," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 162-201.
    12. Okan Yilankaya, 2002. "A model of evidence production and optimal standard of proof and penalty in criminal trials," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(2), pages 385-409, May.
    13. Yehonatan Givati, 2019. "Preferences for Criminal Justice Error Types: Theory and Evidence," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(2), pages 307-339.
    14. Noel D. Johnson & Mark Koyama, 2014. "Taxes, Lawyers, and the Decline of Witch Trials in France," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(1), pages 77-112.
    15. Louis Kaplow, 2011. "Optimal Proof Burdens, Deterrence, and the Chilling of Desirable Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 277-280, May.
    16. Obidzinski, Marie & Oytana, Yves, 2019. "Identity errors and the standard of proof," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 73-80.
    17. Éric Langlais & Marie Obidzinski, 2017. "Law Enforcement with a Democratic Government," American Law and Economics Review, American Law and Economics Association, vol. 19(1), pages 162-201.
    18. Dominique Demougin & Claude Fluet, 2005. "Deterrence versus Judicial Error: A Comparative View of Standards of Proof," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 161(2), pages 193-206, June.
    19. Murat C. Mungan, 2017. "Over-incarceration and disenfranchisement," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 172(3), pages 377-395, September.
    20. Nuno Garoupa, 2017. "Explaining the Standard of Proof in Criminal Law: A New Insight," Supreme Court Economic Review, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(1), pages 111-122.
    21. Miceli, Thomas J, 1990. "Optimal Prosecution of Defendants Whose Guilt Is Uncertain," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 189-201, Spring.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Friehe, Tim & Miceli, Thomas J., 2023. "Celerity of punishment and deterrence: The impacts of discounting and present bias," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 228(C).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Marie Obidzinski & Yves Oytana, 2020. "Presumption of Innocence and Deterrence," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 176(2), pages 377-412.
    2. Matteo Rizzolli & Margherita Saraceno, 2013. "Better that ten guilty persons escape: punishment costs explain the standard of evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 155(3), pages 395-411, June.
    3. Yahagi, Ken, 2021. "Law enforcement with motivated agents," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
    4. Obidzinski, Marie & Oytana, Yves, 2019. "Identity errors and the standard of proof," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 73-80.
    5. Matteo Rizzolli, 2016. "Adjudication: Type-I and Type-II Errors," CERBE Working Papers wpC15, CERBE Center for Relationship Banking and Economics.
    6. Antonio Nicita & Matteo Rizzolli, 2014. "In Dubio Pro Reo. Behavioral Explanations of Pro-defendant Bias in Procedures," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo Group, vol. 60(3), pages 554-580.
    7. Fluet, Claude & Mungan, Murat C., 2022. "Laws and norms with (un)observable actions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 145(C).
    8. Mungan Murat C., 2020. "The Optimal Standard of Proof with Adjudication Avoidance," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 16(1), pages 1-7, March.
    9. Mungan Murat C., 2013. "Optimal Warning Strategies: Punishment Ought Not to Be Inflicted Where the Penal Provision Is Not Properly Conveyed," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(3), pages 303-339, November.
    10. Mungan, Murat C. & Wright, Joshua, 2022. "Optimal standards of proof in antitrust," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    11. Matteo Rizzolli & Margherita Saraceno, 2009. "Better that X guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer," Working Papers 168, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2009.
    12. Fluet, Claude, 2020. "L'économie de la preuve judiciaire," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 96(4), pages 585-620, Décembre.
    13. Tim Friehe & Thomas J. Miceli, 2017. "On Punishment Severity and Crime Rates," American Law and Economics Review, American Law and Economics Association, vol. 19(2), pages 464-485.
    14. Mungan Murat C., 2018. "Mere Preparation," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 14(2), pages 1-15, July.
    15. Yohei Yamaguchi & Ken Yahagi, 2024. "Law enforcement and political misinformation," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 36(1), pages 3-36, January.
    16. Alice Guerra & Barbara Luppi & Francesco Parisi, 2022. "Do presumptions of negligence incentivize optimal precautions?," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 54(3), pages 349-368, December.
    17. Matteo Rizzolli & Luca Stanca, 2012. "Judicial Errors and Crime Deterrence: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(2), pages 311-338.
    18. Bruno Deffains & Claude Fluet, 2020. "Social Norms and Legal Design," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(1), pages 139-169.
    19. Yahagi, Ken & Yamaguchi, Yohei, 2023. "Law enforcement with rent-seeking government under voting pressure," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    20. Yves Oytana & Marie Obidzinski, 2017. "How does the probability of wrongful conviction affect the standard of proof?," Working Papers 2017-02, CRESE.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:crb:wpaper:2020-09. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Lauent Kondratuk (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/crufcfr.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.