Agents Prosecuting Agents

25 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2011 Last revised: 13 Mar 2011

Larry E. Ribstein

University of Illinois College of Law (deceased); PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

Date Written: January 10, 2011

Abstract

Significant questions have been raised concerning the efficiency of criminalizing agency costs and the problems of excessive prosecution of crimes committed by corporate agents. This paper provides a new perspective on these questions by analyzing them from the perspective of agency cost theory. It shows that there are close analogies between the agency costs associated with prosecutors in corporate crime cases and those of the agents being prosecuted. The important difference between the two contexts is that prosecutors are not subject to many of the standard mechanisms for dealing with corporate agency costs. An implication of this analysis is that society must decide if prosecuting corporate agents is worth incurring the agency costs of prosecutors.

JEL Classification: K14, K22, K41, K42

Suggested Citation

Ribstein, Larry E., Agents Prosecuting Agents (January 10, 2011). Illinois Program in Law, Behavior and Social Science Paper No. LBSS11-01; Illinois Public Law Research Paper No. 10-25. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1737915 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1737915

Larry Edward Ribstein (Contact Author)

University of Illinois College of Law (deceased)

PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

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