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Criminal Solicitation, Entrapment, and the Enforcement of Law

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  • Thomas J. Miceli

    (University of Connecticut
    University of Connecticut)

Abstract

This paper examines the optimal use of criminal solicitation as a law enforcement strategy. The benefits are greater deterrence of crime (due to the greater likelihood of apprehension), and the savings in social harm as some offenders are diverted away from committing actual crimes through solicitation. The costs are the expense of hiring undercover cops and the greater likelihood of punishment. The optimal use of solicitation balances these factors. The paper also examines the justification for the entrapment defense, which exonerates those caught in a criminal solicitation but who otherwise had no predisposition to commit a crime.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas J. Miceli, 2006. "Criminal Solicitation, Entrapment, and the Enforcement of Law," Working papers 2006-24, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2006-24
    Note: I acknowledge the helpful comments of Bruce Hay and two referees.
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, I P L, 1995. "Corruptible Law Enforcers: How Should They Be Compensated?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 145-159, January.
    2. Gary S. Becker & George J. Stigler, 1974. "Law Enforcement, Malfeasance, and Compensation of Enforcers," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 1-18, January.
    3. Kaplow, Louis & Shavell, Steven, 2002. "Economic analysis of law," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 25, pages 1661-1784 Elsevier.
    4. Steven Shavell & A. Mitchell Polinsky, 2000. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 45-76, March.
    5. Miceli, Thomas J., 1991. "Optimal criminal procedure: Fairness and deterrence," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 3-10, May.
    6. Harris, John R, 1970. "On the Economics of Law and Order," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 165-174, Jan.-Feb..
    7. Garoupa, Nuno & Klerman, Daniel, 2004. "Corruption and the optimal use of nonmonetary sanctions," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 219-225, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas A. Garrett & Lesli S. Ott, 2008. "City business cycles and crime," Working Papers 2008-026, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Entrapment; criminal solicitation; law enforcement;

    JEL classification:

    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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