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Discounting and Criminals' Implied Risk Preferences

5 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2014 Last revised: 2 Dec 2015

Murat C. Mungan

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty

Jonathan Klick

University of Pennsylvania Law School; Erasmus School of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

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

Mungan, Murat C. and Klick, Jonathan, Discounting and Criminals' Implied Risk Preferences (2015). FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 672; Review of Law and Economics, Vol. 11, P. 19, 2015; U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 14-15; FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 672; FSU College of Law, Law, Business & Economics Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2396892 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2396892

Murat C. Mungan (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Jonathan Klick

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
2157463455 (Phone)

Erasmus School of Law ( email )

3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

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