Agents Prosecuting Agents
Larry E. Ribstein (Deceased)
University of Illinois College of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center
January 10, 2011
Illinois Program in Law, Behavior and Social Science Paper No. LBSS11-01
Illinois Public Law Research Paper No. 10-25
Significant questions have been raised concerning the efficiency of criminalizing agency costs and the problems of excessive prosecution of crimes committed by corporate agents. This paper provides a new perspective on these questions by analyzing them from the perspective of agency cost theory. It shows that there are close analogies between the agency costs associated with prosecutors in corporate crime cases and those of the agents being prosecuted. The important difference between the two contexts is that prosecutors are not subject to many of the standard mechanisms for dealing with corporate agency costs. An implication of this analysis is that society must decide if prosecuting corporate agents is worth incurring the agency costs of prosecutors.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 25
JEL Classification: K14, K22, K41, K42
Date posted: January 12, 2011 ; Last revised: March 13, 2011
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