On Punishment Severity and Crime Rates
Punishment severity and crime rates vary across jurisdictions. Some countries have punitive sanctions and nevertheless experience relatively high crime rates. This paper explores potential sources of the interjurisdictional heterogeneity in the optimal law enforcement model, paying particular attention to the possibility that the high crime despite high sanctions outcome can be socially optimal. JEL Classification:K42 Key words: crime, deterrence, optimal sanctions, fairness, political economy
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