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Dynamic optimal law enforcement with learning

  • Mohamed Jellal
  • Nuno Garoupa

We incorporate the process of enforcement learning by assuming that the agency's current marginal cost is a decreasing function of its past experience of detecting and convicting. The agency accumulates data and information (on criminals, on opportunities of crime) enhancing the ability to apprehend in the future at a lower marginal cost. We focus on the impact of enforcement learning on optimal stationary compliance rules. In particular, we show that the optimal stationary fine could be less-than-maximal and the optimal stationary probability of detection could be higher-than-otherwise.

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File URL: http://www.econ.upf.edu/docs/papers/downloads/402.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 402.

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Date of creation: Jun 1999
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:402
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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  1. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 1982. "The Optimal Use of Fines and Imprisonment," NBER Working Papers 0932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Garoupa, Nuno, 1997. " The Theory of Optimal Law Enforcement," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 267-95, September.
  4. Leung, S.F., 1993. "Dynamic Deterence Theory," RCER Working Papers 366, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  5. Ryder, Harl E, Jr & Heal, Geoffrey M, 1973. "Optimum Growth with Intertemporally Dependent Preferences," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 1-33, January.
  6. Polinsky, A. Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1998. "On offense history and the theory of deterrence," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 305-324, September.
  7. Nash, John, 1991. "To make the punishment fit the crime: The theory and statistical estimation of a multi-period optimal deterrence model," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 101-110, May.
  8. Sah, R.K., 1990. "Social Osmosis And Patterns Of Crime: A Dynamic Economic Analysis," Papers 609, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  9. Shavell, Steven, 1993. "The Optimal Structure of Law Enforcement," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 255-87, April.
  10. Ben-Shahar, Omri, 1997. "Playing without a rulebook: Optimal enforcement when individuals learn the penalty only by committing the crime," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 409-421, September.
  11. Davis, Michael L, 1988. "Time and Punishment: An Intertemporal Model of Crime," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 383-90, April.
  12. Kaplow, Louis, 1990. "A note on the optimal use of nonmonetary sanctions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 245-247, July.
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