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Less Crime, More (Vulnerable) Victims: Game Theory and the Distributional Effects of Criminal Sanctions

  • Ehud Guttel

    ()

  • Barak Medina

    ()

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    Harsh sanctions are conventionally assumed to primarily benefit vulnerable targets. Contrary to this perception, this article shows that augmented sanctions often serve the less vulnerable targets. While decreasing crime, harsher sanctions also induce the police to shift enforcement efforts from more to less vulnerable victims. When this shift is substantial, augmented sanctions exacerbate--rather than reduce--the risk to vulnerable victims. Based on this insight, this article suggests several normative implications concerning the efficacy of enhanced sanctions, the importance of victims' funds,and the connection between police operations and apprehension rates.

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    File URL: http://ratio.huji.ac.il/sites/default/files/publications/dp472.pdf
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    Paper provided by The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem in its series Discussion Paper Series with number dp472.

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    Length: 30 pages
    Date of creation: Dec 2007
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: Published in Review of Law & Economics, 2007, vol. 3, pp. 407-435.
    Handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp472
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