Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2278597
 
 

Citations (1)



 


 



Punitive Police? Agency Costs, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Procedure


Dhammika Dharmapala


University of Illinois College of Law

Nuno M. Garoupa


University of Illinois College of Law

Richard H. McAdams


University of Chicago Law School

June 12, 2013

Illinois Public Law Research Paper No. 13-47
University of Chicago Coase-Sandor Institute for Law & Economics Research Paper No. 644

Abstract:     
Criminal law enforcement depends on the actions of public agents such as police officers, but there is no standard economic model of police as public agents. We seek to remedy this deficiency by offering an agency model of police behavior. We begin by explaining why the standard contracting solutions are unlikely to work. Instead, we follow recent literature exploring intrinsic motivation and posit heterogeneity in the preferences of potential agents. Drawing on experimental evidence on punishment preferences (so-called “altruistic punishment”), in which subjects reveal a preference for punishing wrongdoers, our model identifies circumstances in which “punitive” individuals (with stronger-than-average punishment preferences) will self-select into law enforcement jobs that offer the opportunity to punish (or facilitate the punishment of) wrongdoers. Such “punitive” agents will accept a lower salary and be less likely to shirk, but create agency costs associated with their excessive zeal (relative to the public’s preferences) in searching, seizing, and punishing suspects. Under plausible assumptions, the public chooses to hire punitive police agents, while submitting them to monitoring by other agents (such as the judiciary) with average punishment preferences. Thus, two kinds of agents are better than one. We explore various implications for police shirking, corruption, and the content of the criminal procedure rights that the judiciary enforces.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 56

working papers series


Download This Paper

Date posted: June 15, 2013 ; Last revised: July 13, 2013

Suggested Citation

Dharmapala, Dhammika and Garoupa, Nuno M. and McAdams, Richard H., Punitive Police? Agency Costs, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Procedure (June 12, 2013). Illinois Public Law Research Paper No. 13-47; University of Chicago Coase-Sandor Institute for Law & Economics Research Paper No. 644. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2278597 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2278597

Contact Information

Dhammika Dharmapala (Contact Author)
University of Illinois College of Law ( email )
504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820
United States
Nuno M. Garoupa
University of Illinois College of Law ( email )
504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820
United States
HOME PAGE: http://works.bepress.com/nunogaroupa/
Richard H. McAdams
University of Chicago Law School ( email )
1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-834-2520 (Phone)
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 268
Downloads: 55
Download Rank: 219,984
Citations:  1
Paper comments
No comments have been made on this paper

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo7 in 0.563 seconds