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Evidence disclosure and severity of punishments

  • Turkay, Evsen
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    The relationship between legal offenses and punishment is well studied by scholars of sociology, economics and law. Economists contend that punishment is a cost of committing an offense, hence an increase in the severity of punishments should decrease incentives to commit legal offenses. And the efficiency of legal punishments are studied generally from this perspective: giving efficient incentives to commit legal offense. This paper studies the relationship between punishment and evidence disclosure in a game theoretical model. A defendant is trying to persuade a judge by presenting evidence to take a favorable legal action rather than less favorable ones on his case. I show that the equilibrium disclosure of the defendant is not affected by a change in the scale of legal actions when there is no uncertainty on how the judge evaluates evidence. With uncertainty, however, the defendant can be induced to disclose more information by decreasing the severity ratio of the most unfavorable legal action to the most favorable one. This shows that in the more realistic case of uncertainty the severity of punishments has an effect on evidence disclosure and efficiency of punishment schedule should be analyzed by internalizing its effect on evidence disclosure as well.

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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/31821/1/MPRA_paper_31821.pdf
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    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 31504.

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    Date of creation: 13 Jun 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:31504
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    1. Shin, Hyun Song, 1997. "Adversarial and Inquisitorial Procedures in Arbitration," CEPR Discussion Papers 1722, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. 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.
    3. Paul R. Milgrom & John Roberts, 1985. "Relying on the Information of Interested Parties," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 749, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    4. Hay, Bruce L & Spier, Kathryn E, 1997. "Burdens of Proof in Civil Litigation: An Economic Perspective," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 413-31, June.
    5. Vijay Krishna & John Morgan, 1999. "A Model of Expertise," Working Papers 154, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics.
    6. Lewis, Tracy R & Poitevin, Michel, 1997. "Disclosure of Information in Regulatory Proceedings," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 50-73, April.
    7. Levy, Gilat, 2003. "Careerist Judges," CEPR Discussion Papers 3948, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Daughety, Andrew F & Reinganum, Jennifer F, 2000. "On the Economics of Trials: Adversarial Process, Evidence, and Equilibrium Bias," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 365-94, October.
    9. Froeb, Luke M & Kobayashi, Bruce H, 1996. "Naive, Biased, Yet Bayesian: Can Juries Interpret Selectively Produced Evidence?," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 257-76, April.
    10. Froeb, Luke M. & Kobayashi, Bruce H., 2001. "Evidence production in adversarial vs. inquisitorial regimes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 267-272, February.
    11. Paul R. Milgrom, 1979. "Good Nevs and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Discussion Papers 407R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    12. Lipman Barton L. & Seppi Duane J., 1995. "Robust Inference in Communication Games with Partial Provability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 370-405, August.
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