Do People Want Optimal Deterrence?
Cass R. Sunstein
Harvard Law School
University of California, San Diego
University of Chicago Law School, John M. Olin Law & Economics Working Paper No. 77
This paper tests the question whether people favor optimal deterrence policies. More particularly, it asks whether people are willing to increase penalties when the probability of detection is low, or to decrease penalties when the probability of detection is high. Two experiments are reported, suggesting that people do not spontaneously think in terms of optimal deterrence, and that people would have objections to policies based on the goal of optimal deterrence. Institutional implications are briefly discussed.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 29working papers series
Date posted: August 12, 1999
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