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Optimal Accomplice-Witnesses Regulation under Asymmetric Information

We study the problem of a Legislator designing immunity for privately informed cooperating accomplices. Our objective is to highlight the positive (vertical) externality between expected returns from crime and the information rent that must be granted by the Legislator to whistleblowers in order to break their code of silence (omertà) and elicit truthful information revelation. We identify the accomplices' incentives to release distorted information and characterize the second-best policy limiting this behavior. The central finding is that this externality leads to a second-best policy that purposefully allows whistleblowers not to disclose part of their private information. We also show that accomplices must fulfill minimal information requirements to be admitted into the program (rationing), that a bonus must be awarded to accomplices providing more reliable information and that, under some conditions, rewarding a self-reporting `boss' can increase efficiency. These results are consistent with a number of widespread legislative provisions.

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Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 304.

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Date of creation: 11 Jan 2012
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Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:304
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  1. Acconcia, Antonio & Immordino, Giovanni & Piccolo, Salvatore & Rey, Patrick, 2013. "Accomplice-Witness and Organized Crime: Theory and Evidence from Italy," TSE Working Papers 13-403, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  2. Maurice Kugler & Thierry Verdier & Yves Zenou, 2003. "Organized Crime, Corruption and Punishment," DELTA Working Papers 2003-34, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  3. Heski Bar-Isaac & Mariagiovanna Baccara, 2006. "How to Organize Crime," Working Papers 06-07, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  4. Abdalla Mansour & Nicolas Marceau & Steeve Mongrain, 2001. "Gangs and Crime Deterrence," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 138, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  5. Motta, Massimo & Polo, Michele, 2003. "Leniency programs and cartel prosecution," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 347-379, March.
  6. Aubert, Cecile & Rey, Patrick & Kovacic, William E., 2006. "The impact of leniency and whistle-blowing programs on cartels," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1241-1266, November.
  7. Bruce H. Kobayashi, 1992. "Deterrence with Multiple Defendants: An Explanation for "Unfair" Plea Bargains," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(4), pages 507-517, Winter.
  8. Konrad, Kai A. & Skaperdas, Stergios, 1997. "Credible threats in extortion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 23-39, May.
  9. Backhaus, Jürgen G., 1979. "Defending organized crime? A note," Discussion Papers, Series I 120, University of Konstanz, Department of Economics.
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