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Deterrence, Incapacitation and Enforcement Design. Evidence from Traffic Enforcement in Italy

Author

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  • Simona Benedettini

    ()

  • Antonio Nicita

    ()

Abstract

We investigate the deterrent effect on driving behavior due to the introduction of Demerit Point System in Italy. In addition, we measure the incapacitation effect on fatal accidents. Our findings highlight the high potential of the penalty system in reducing road fatalities through deterrence and incapacitation. Despite this, its aggregate effectiveness in Italy ultimately depended on the consistency of the enforcement design. We then suggest several policy options to increase road safety through a credible enforcement.

Suggested Citation

  • Simona Benedettini & Antonio Nicita, 2009. "Deterrence, Incapacitation and Enforcement Design. Evidence from Traffic Enforcement in Italy," Department of Economics University of Siena 564, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  • Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:564
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    File URL: http://repec.deps.unisi.it/quaderni/564.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gneezy, Uri & Rustichini, Aldo, 2000. "A Fine is a Price," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 1-17, January.
    2. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Sah, Raaj K, 1991. "Social Osmosis and Patterns of Crime," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1272-1295, December.
    4. Kaplow, Louis, 1990. "Optimal Deterrence, Uninformed Individuals, and Acquiring Information about Whether Acts Are Subject to Sanctions," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 93-128, Spring.
    5. Bebchuk, Lucian Arye & Kaplow, Louis, 1992. "Optimal Sanctions When Individuals Are Imperfectly Informed about the Probability of Apprehension," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 365-370, June.
    6. Richard Tay, 2005. "General and Specific Deterrent Effects of Traffic Enforcement: Do we have to Catch Offenders to Reduce Crashes?," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 39(2), pages 209-224, May.
    7. Levitt, Steven D. & Miles, Thomas J., 2007. "Empirical Study of Criminal Punishment," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
    8. Polinsky, Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1979. "The Optimal Tradeoff between the Probability and Magnitude of Fines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 880-891, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Castillo-Manzano, José I. & Castro-Nuño, Mercedes, 2012. "Driving licenses based on points systems: Efficient road safety strategy or latest fashion in global transport policy? A worldwide meta-analysis," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 191-201.
    2. Benedettini, Simona & Nicita, Antonio, 2012. "The costs of avoiding accidents: Selective compliance and the ‘Peltzman effect’ in Italy," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 256-270.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    deterrence; incapacitation; law enforcement; road safety;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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