A Simple Theory of Increasing Penalties for Repeat Offenders
A feature of many penal codes is that punishments are more severe for repeat offenders, yet economic models have had a hard time providing a theoretical justification for this practice. This paper offers an explanation based on the wage penalty suffered by individuals convicted of crime. While this penalty probably deters some first-timers from committing crimes, it actually hampers deterrence of repeat offenders because of their diminished employments opportunities. We show that in this setting, an escalating penalty scheme is optimal and time consistent.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2004|
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- Emons, Winand, 2003.
"A note on the optimal punishment for repeat offenders,"
International Review of Law and Economics,
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NBER Working Papers
4551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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- Jeffrey Grogger, 1995. "The Effect of Arrests on the Employment and Earnings of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 51-71.
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"Subgame Perfect Punishment for Repeat Offenders,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3667, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Chu, C. Y. Cyrus & Hu, Sheng-cheng & Huang, Ting-yuan, 2000. "Punishing repeat offenders more severely," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 127-140, March.
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