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Does Efficient Deterrence Require that the Wealthy Should Be Able to Buy Justice?


  • Nuno Garoupa
  • Hugh Gravelle


It has been argued that there will be more efficient deterrence if no restrictions are placed on the ability of the rich to buy better legal representation than the poor when accused of a crime: such restrictions lead to over-deterrence of the wealthy. We show that the conclusion does not hold when account is taken of the effect of restrictions on legal defence expenditure on the extent of under-deterrence.

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  • Nuno Garoupa & Hugh Gravelle, "undated". "Does Efficient Deterrence Require that the Wealthy Should Be Able to Buy Justice?," Discussion Papers 00/07, Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:00/07

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Arun S. Malik, 1990. "Avoidance, Screening and Optimum Enforcement," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(3), pages 341-353, Autumn.
    2. Polinsky, A. Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1984. "The optimal use of fines and imprisonment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 89-99, June.
    3. Lott, John R, Jr, 1987. "Should the Wealthy Be Able to "Buy Justice"?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(6), pages 1307-1316, December.
    4. Garoupa, Nuno, 1997. " The Theory of Optimal Law Enforcement," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 267-295, September.
    5. Kobayashi, Bruce H. & Lott, John Jr., 1996. "In defense of criminal defense expenditures and plea bargaining," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 397-416, December.
    6. Nuno Garoupa & Frank H Stephen, 2004. "Optimal Law Enforcement with Legal Aid," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 71(283), pages 493-500, August.
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