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The Efficiency of Crackdowns: A Lab-in-the-Field Experiment in Public Transportations

Author

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  • Zhixin Dai

    () (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France)

  • Fabio Galeotti

    () (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France)

  • Marie Claire Villeval

    () (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France)

Abstract

The concentration of high frequency controls in a limited period of time (“crackdowns”) constitutes an important feature of many law-enforcement policies around the world. In this paper, we offer a comprehensive investigation on the relative efficiency and effectiveness of various crackdown policies using a lab-in-the-field experiment with real passengers of a public transport service. We introduce a novel game, the daily public transportation game, where subjects have to decide, over many periods, whether to buy or not a ticket knowing that there might be a control. Our results show that (a) concentrated crackdowns are less effective and efficient than random controls; (b) prolonged crackdowns reduce fare-dodging during the period of intense monitoring but induces a burst of fraud as soon as they are withdrawn; (c) pre-announced controls induces more fraud in the periods without control. Overall, we also observe that real fare-dodgers fraud more in the experiment than non-faredodgers.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhixin Dai & Fabio Galeotti & Marie Claire Villeval, 2016. "The Efficiency of Crackdowns: A Lab-in-the-Field Experiment in Public Transportations," Working Papers 1607, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
  • Handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:1607
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Zhixin Dai & Fabio Galeotti & Marie Claire Villeval, 2018. "Cheating in the Lab Predicts Fraud in the Field: An Experiment in Public Transportation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 64(3), pages 1081-1100, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhixin Dai & Fabio Galeotti & Marie Claire Villeval, 2018. "Cheating in the Lab Predicts Fraud in the Field: An Experiment in Public Transportation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 64(3), pages 1081-1100, March.
    2. Benedetto Barabino & Cristian Lai & Alessandro Olivo, 2020. "Fare evasion in public transport systems: a review of the literature," Public Transport, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 27-88, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Crackdowns; fraud; risk; monitoring; transportation; field experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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