Paying the Price for Being Caught: The Economics of Manifest and Non-Manifest Theft in Roman Law

23 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2007

See all articles by Nuno Garoupa

Nuno Garoupa

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty

Fernando Gomez-Pomar

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Date Written: July 2007

Abstract

In Roman law, manifest theft (essentially, the one in which a thief was caught in the act)was punished with a more severe penalty than non-manifest theft. This legal policy seems to contradict the economic theory of efficient deterrence. In this paper, we try to explore how economic analysis of criminal law and law enforcement points out at several efficiency-based arguments to understand the puzzle, and allows us to tentatively conclude that technological changes in law enforcement in the broad sense might have been the major factor in the disappearance of the rule in modern legal systems.

Keywords: Economics of Law Enforcement, Roman Law, Manifest Theft, Non-Manifest Theft

JEL Classification: K4

Suggested Citation

Garoupa, Nuno and Gomez-Pomar, Fernando, Paying the Price for Being Caught: The Economics of Manifest and Non-Manifest Theft in Roman Law (July 2007). U Illinois Law & Economics Research Paper No. LE07-035. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1024754 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1024754

Nuno Garoupa (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Fernando Gomez-Pomar

Universitat Pompeu Fabra ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
08005 Barcelona
Spain
(34-93) 542 16 47 (Phone)
(34-93) 542 17 31 (Fax)

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