IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Differential treatment of intentional and accidental violators


  • Thomas BLONDIAU
  • Sandra ROUSSEAU


We investigate whether environmental sanctions should increase with the degree of intentionality of the violation. To this end we develop a simple model which is used to make predictions concerning the effect of the degree of intentionality, the amount of illegal gain obtained and the harm caused by the offense on the level of the optimal fine. These predictions are then used to learn more about the objectives pursued by enforcing authorities. We empirically test our theoretical predictions for firms as well as individuals using data on criminal environmental sanctions in Flanders and administrative environmental fines in Brussels. We find that judges and administrative officers aim at a mixture of social welfare maximization and regulation compliance maximization. Also, we find that in practice intentionality of a violation is always a factor which makes the sanction level increase. This is in contrast to a result from our theoretical analysis, in which we demonstrate that more intentional violations can lead to lower optimal fines.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas BLONDIAU & Sandra ROUSSEAU, 2011. "Differential treatment of intentional and accidental violators," Working Papers Department of Economics ces11.01, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces11.01

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:ete:ceswps:ces11.01. 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: (library EBIB). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.