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The Theory of Optimal Law Enforcement
Journal of Economic Surveys (1997)
  • Nuno Garoupa, George Mason University
The economic literature on optimal law enforcement is very recent. Becker's seminal paper on crime and law enforcement dates from 1968 and most papers which are the focus of this survey have been published in the last ten years.The core result presented by Becker is the following: the probability and the severity of punishment deter crime. Therefore, the fine should be maximal since it is a costless transfer whereas the probability of detection and conviction is costly. Much of the recent work has attempted to show why Becker's result may not hold.
  • law enforcement,
  • fines,
  • probability
Publication Date
Citation Information
Nuno Garoupa. "The Theory of Optimal Law Enforcement" Journal of Economic Surveys Vol. 11 Iss. 3 (1997) p. 267 - 295
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