Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1372410
 
 

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Uncertainty and Deterrence: Experimental Evidence


Gary Charness


University of California, Santa Barbara - Department of Economics

Gregory J. DeAngelo


Texas Tech University - Department of Economics and Geography

April 2, 2009


Abstract:     
We conduct laboratory experiments to investigate the effects of deterrence mechanisms under controlled conditions. The effect of the expected cost of punishment of an individual's decision to engage in a proscribed activity and the effect of uncertainty on an individual's decision to commit a violation are very difficult to observe in field data. We use a roadway speeding framing and find that (a) individuals respond considerably to increases in the expected cost of speeding, (b) uncertainty about the enforcement regime yields a large reduction in violations committed, and (c) people are much more likely to speed when the punishment regime for which they voted is implemented. Our results have important implications for a behavioral theory of deterrence under uncertainty.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31

Keywords: Deterrence, Experiment, Uncertainty, Crime and Punishment

JEL Classification: C91, D03, D81, K42

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Date posted: April 3, 2009 ; Last revised: June 14, 2010

Suggested Citation

Charness, Gary and DeAngelo, Gregory J., Uncertainty and Deterrence: Experimental Evidence (April 2, 2009). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1372410 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1372410

Contact Information

Gary Charness
University of California, Santa Barbara - Department of Economics ( email )
2127 North Hall
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States
805-893-2412 (Phone)
805-893-8830 (Fax)
Gregory Joseph DeAngelo (Contact Author)
Texas Tech University - Department of Economics and Geography ( email )
Lubbock, TX 79409-2101
United States
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References:  39
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