Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2130847
 


 



A Behavioral Justification for Escalating Punishment Schemes


Murat C. Mungan


George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty

June 8, 2015

37 International Review of Law and Economics 189 (2014)
FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 602
FSU College of Law, Law, Business & Economics Paper

Abstract:     
The standard two-period law enforcement model is considered in a setting where individuals rarely lose self-control or commit crime without first comparing expected costs and benefits. Where escalating punishment schemes are present, there is an inherent value in keeping a clean criminal record; a person with a record may unintentionally become a repeat offender if he fails to exert self-control, and be punished more severely. If the punishment for repeat offenders is sufficiently high, one may rationally forgo the opportunity of committing a profitable crime today to avoid being sanctioned as a repeat offender in the future. Therefore, partial deterrence can be achieved at a very low cost through the use of escalating penalties, providing a behavioral justification for punishing repeat offenders more severely.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 20

Keywords: Lapse, weak will, repeat offenders, law enforcement, deterrence, escalating penalties

JEL Classification: D03, K00, K10, K14, K40, K42


Open PDF in Browser Download This Paper

Date posted: August 17, 2012 ; Last revised: December 3, 2015

Suggested Citation

Mungan, Murat C., A Behavioral Justification for Escalating Punishment Schemes (June 8, 2015). 37 International Review of Law and Economics 189 (2014); FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 602; FSU College of Law, Law, Business & Economics Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2130847 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2130847

Contact Information

Murat C. Mungan (Contact Author)
George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty ( email )
3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University Logo

Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 693
Downloads: 122
Download Rank: 171,149

© 2016 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollobot1 in 0.172 seconds