Do People Want Optimal Deterrence?
University of Chicago Law School, John M. Olin Law & Economics Working Paper No. 77
29 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 1999
Date Written: May 1999
This paper tests the question whether people favor optimal deterrence policies. More particularly, it asks whether people are willing to increase penalties when the probability of detection is low, or to decrease penalties when the probability of detection is high. Two experiments are reported, suggesting that people do not spontaneously think in terms of optimal deterrence, and that people would have objections to policies based on the goal of optimal deterrence. Institutional implications are briefly discussed.
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