Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=901512
 
 

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Public Enforcement of Law


A. Mitchell Polinsky


Stanford Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Steven Shavell


Harvard Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

May 2006

Stanford Law and Economics Olin Working Paper No. 322

Abstract:     
This entry for the forthcoming The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics (Second Edition) surveys the economic analysis of public enforcement of law - the use of public agents (inspectors, tax auditors, police, prosecutors) to detect and to sanction violators of legal rules. We first discuss the basic elements of the theory: the probability of imposition of sanctions, the magnitude and form of sanctions (fines, imprisonment), and the rule of liability. We then examine a variety of extensions, including the costs of imposing fines, mistake, marginal deterrence, settlement, self-reporting, repeat offenses, and incapacitation.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31


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Date posted: May 16, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Polinsky, A. Mitchell and Shavell, Steven, Public Enforcement of Law (May 2006). Stanford Law and Economics Olin Working Paper No. 322. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=901512 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.901512

Contact Information

A. Mitchell Polinsky (Contact Author)
Stanford Law School ( email )
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States
650-723-0886 (Phone)
650-723-3557 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Steven Shavell
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Harvard Law School ( email )
1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-3668 (Phone)
617-496-2256 (Fax)
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