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Law Enforcement Costs and Legal Presumptions

  • Mehmet Bac

    (University of Chicago and Bilkent University)

  • Parimal Kanti Bag

    (University of London)

We study and compare law enforcement costs under two alternative burden of proof rules with the objective of reducing crime to a target level. We show that presuming innocence rather than guilt has a cost advantage, mainly due to lower costs of preventing collusion between law enforcers and criminals. This conclusion may change if law enforcers are incorruptible or if resources to motivate corruptible law enforcers are limited. We identify the strengths and weaknesses of the two burden of proof rules in terms of components of law enforcement costs such as ``information gathering" costs, ``collusion prevention" costs, and (when the potential offender is an official) ``agent compensation" costs.

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Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers with number 0194.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:0194
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  1. Bac, Mehmet, 1996. "Corruption, Supervision, and the Structure of Hierarchies," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 277-98, October.
  2. Antonio Bernardo & Eric L. Talley & Ivo Welch, 1999. "A Theory of Legal Presumptions," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm118, Yale School of Management.
  3. Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1990. "Analysis of Hidden Gaming in a Three-Level Hierarchy," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 301-24, Fall.
  4. repec:att:wimass:8908 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. 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.
  6. Hyun Song Shin, 1998. "Adversarial and Inquisitorial Procedures in Arbitration," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(2), pages 378-405, Summer.
  7. Bac, Mehmet, 1996. "Corruption and Supervision Costs in Hierarchies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 99-118, April.
  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. James Andreoni, 1991. "Reasonable Doubt and the Optimal Magnitude of Fines: Should the Penalty Fit the Crime?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(3), pages 385-395, Autumn.
  10. Kofman, Fred & Lawarree, Jacques, 1993. "Collusion in Hierarchical Agency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 629-56, May.
  11. Sanchirico, Chris William, 1997. "The burden of proof in civil litigation: A simple model of mechanism design," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 431-447, September.
  12. Shin Hyun Song, 1994. "The Burden of Proof in a Game of Persuasion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 253-264, October.
  13. Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Hierarchies and Bureaucracies: On the Role of Collusion in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 181-214, Fall.
  14. Daniel L. Rubinfeld & David E.M. Sappington, 1987. "Efficient Awards and Standards of Proof in Judicial Proceedings," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(2), pages 308-315, Summer.
  15. Bag, Parimal Kanti, 1997. "Controlling Corruption in Hierarchies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 322-344, December.
  16. Davis, Michael L, 1994. "The Value of Truth and the Optimal Standard of Proof in Legal Disputes," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 343-59, October.
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