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The Desirability of Forgiveness in Regulatory Enforcement

  • Arun Malik

    ()

    (Department of Economics/Institute for International Economic Policy, George Washington University)

I present a model that explains two common features of regulatory enforcement: selective forgiveness of noncompliance, and the collection of information on a firm’s compliance activities and not just its compliance status. I show that forgiving noncompliance is optimal if the information on a firm’s compliance activities constitutes sufficiently strong evidence of the firm having exerted a high level of compliance effort. The key benefit of forgiving noncompliance is a reduction in the probability with which the firm needs to be monitored. If fines are costly, a further benefit is a reduction in fine costs.

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File URL: http://www.gwu.edu/~iiep/assets/docs/papers/Malik_IIEPWP2008-14.pdf
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Paper provided by The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy in its series Working Papers with number 2008-14.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gwi:wpaper:2008-14
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.gwu.edu/~iiep/
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  1. 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.
  2. Garvie, Devon & Keeler, Andrew, 1994. "Incomplete enforcement with endogenous regulatory choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 141-162, September.
  3. Heyes, Anthony & Rickman, Neil, 1999. "Regulatory dealing - revisiting the Harrington paradox," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 361-378, June.
  4. Dominique Demougin & Claude Fluet, 1998. "Mechanism Sufficient Statistic in the Risk-Neutral Agency Problem," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 154(4), pages 622-, December.
  5. Sinclair-Desgagne, Bernard, 1994. "The First-Order Approach to Multi-signal Principal-Agent Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 459-66, March.
  6. Livernois, John & McKenna, C. J., 1999. "Truth or consequences: Enforcing pollution standards with self-reporting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 415-440, March.
  7. Grieson, Ronald E. & Singh, Nirvikar, 1990. "Regulating externalities through testing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 369-387, April.
  8. Harrington, Winston, 1988. "Enforcement leverage when penalties are restricted," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 29-53, October.
  9. Nyborg, Karine & Telle, Kjetil, 2004. "The role of warnings in regulation: keeping control with less punishment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2801-2816, December.
  10. Malik Arun S., 1993. "Self-Reporting and the Design of Policies for Regulating Stochastic Pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 241-257, May.
  11. Harford, Jon D., 1991. "Measurement error and state-dependent pollution control enforcement," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 67-81, July.
  12. Innes, Robert, 1999. "Remediation and self-reporting in optimal law enforcement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 379-393, June.
  13. McKenna, C.J. & Livernois, J., 1996. "Truth or Consequences? Enforcing Pollution Standards," Working Papers 1996-7, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
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