Deterrence, Incapacitation, and Repeat Offenders
This paper develops an economic model of criminal enforcement that combines the goals of deterrence and incapacitation. Potential offenders commit an initial criminal act if the present value of net private gains is positive. A fraction of these offenders become habitual and commit further crimes immediately upon release from their initial prison term (if any). The optimal punishment scheme in this setting generally involves a finite prison term for first-time offenders (based on the goal of deterrence), and an infinite (life) sentence for repeat offenders (based on the goal of incapacitation).
|Date of creation:||Oct 2008|
|Date of revision:|
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- Gary S. Becker, 1974.
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in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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"A Note on the Optimal Punishment for Repeat Offenders,"
dp0104, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
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NBER Working Papers
6484, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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- Ehrlich, Isaac, 1981. "On the Usefulness of Controlling Individuals: An Economic Analysis of Rehabilitation, Incapacitation, and Deterrence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 307-22, June.
- Thomas J. Miceli & Catherine Bucci, 2004.
"A Simple Theory of Increasing Penalties for Repeat Offenders,"
2004-39, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
- Miceli Thomas J. & Bucci Catherine, 2005. "A Simple Theory of Increasing Penalties for Repeat Offenders," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 71-80, April.
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- 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.
- Glenn C. Loury, 1979. "Market Structure and Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(3), pages 395-410.
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