Discounting and Criminals' Implied Risk Preferences
Review of Law and Economics, Vol. 11, P. 19, 2015
5 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2014 Last revised: 2 Dec 2015
Date Written: 2015
It is commonly assumed that potential offenders are more responsive to increases in the certainty than increases in the severity of punishment. An important implication of this assumption within the Beckerian law enforcement model is that criminals are risk-seeking. This note adds to existing literature by showing that offenders who discount future monetary benefits can be more responsive to the certainty rather than the severity of punishment, even when they are risk averse, and even when their disutility from imprisonment rises proportionally (or more than proportionally) with the length of the sentence.
Keywords: Crime, deterrence, risk, punishment, discounting
JEL Classification: K00, K14, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation