Paying the Price for Being Caught: The Economics of Manifest and Non-Manifest Theft in Roman Law
23 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2007
Date Written: July 2007
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: Suggested Citation