Day Fines: Should the Rich Pay More?

Review of Law and Economics, Vol. 11(3), p. 481–501, 2015

21 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2014 Last revised: 19 Aug 2016

Date Written: June 1, 2013


Fine is an efficient method of sanctioning since the burden on the taxpayer for enforcing it is low and the offender is even transferring wealth to the society. However, using the law and economics analysis, this paper suggests that the day-fine is a superior model to other forms of fines. This pecuniary measure takes into account the income of the offender alongside with the severity of the offense. Consequently, criminals with different socioeconomic status committing the same crime would pay the same portion of their wealth but not the same absolute amount of money. Using this structure the day-fine has a potential to deter the rich and the poor and avoid the costly sanction of imprisonment.

Keywords: Day-Fines; Sanctions; Criminal Law; Deterrence; Law and Economics

JEL Classification: K14, K42

Suggested Citation

Kantorowicz-Reznichenko, Elena, Day Fines: Should the Rich Pay More? (June 1, 2013). Review of Law and Economics, Vol. 11(3), p. 481–501, 2015. Available at SSRN: or

Elena Kantorowicz-Reznichenko (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam ( email )


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