Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2047095
 
 

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Regulating Corporate Criminal Sanctions: Federal Guidelines and the Sentencing of Public Firms


Cindy R. Alexander


U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Jennifer Arlen


New York University School of Law

Mark A. Cohen


Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management; Vanderbilt University - Law School; Resources for the Future

April 27, 2012

Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 42, No. S1, 1999
NYU Law and Economics Research Paper

Abstract:     
Federal Sentencing Guidelines Governing Organizations purport to constrain judicial discretion over corporate criminal penalties. We investigate the effect on courts' sentencing decisions using pre- and post-Guidelines data, including evidence on cases and penalties that the Guidelines do not completely control. We find that fines and total penalties are higher than they were previously. Evidence that fines increased more in Guidelines-constrained cases than elsewhere suggests the effort to constrain judicial discretion has had a direct effect. Evidence of higher total penalties, even in cases not directly constrained by the Guidelines, suggests that judges may have cooperated with the policy of imposing higher fines and total sanctions, although not to the extent that the Guidelines prescribe. Our findings are inconsistent with the basic attitudinal model from the political science literature. We explore other forces that may be at work.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31

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Date posted: April 29, 2012 ; Last revised: November 19, 2012

Suggested Citation

Alexander, Cindy R. and Arlen, Jennifer and Cohen, Mark A., Regulating Corporate Criminal Sanctions: Federal Guidelines and the Sentencing of Public Firms (April 27, 2012). Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 42, No. S1, 1999; NYU Law and Economics Research Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2047095

Contact Information

Cindy R. Alexander
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ( email )
100 F Street NE
Washington, DC 20549-1105
United States
202-551-6602 (Phone)
Jennifer Arlen (Contact Author)
New York University School of Law ( email )
40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States
Mark A. Cohen
Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management ( email )
401 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
United States
615-322-0533 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.mba.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/mcohen.cfm
Vanderbilt University - Law School
131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States
Resources for the Future ( email )
1616 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States
202-328-5000 (Phone)
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