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Deterrence of Wrongdoing in Ancient Law

27 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2014  

Francesco Parisi

University of Minnesota - Law School; University of Bologna

Daniel Pi

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty

Barbara Luppi

Università degli studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE) - Faculty of Business and Economics; University of St. Thomas School of Law

Iole Fargnoli

University of Bern - School of Law; University of Milan - Faculty of Law

Date Written: October 14, 2014

Abstract

Ancient laws addressed all types of wrongdoing with a single set of remedies that over time pursued a changing mix of retaliatory, punitive and compensatory objectives. In this paper, we consider the historical transition from retaliatory to punitive justice, and the subsequent transition from punitive to compensatory justice. This paper shows how the optimal level of enforcement varies under the three corrective regimes. Crimes that create a larger net social loss require lower levels of enforcement under retaliatory regimes. The optimal level of enforcement is instead independent of the degree of inefficiency of the crime when punitive and compensatory remedies are utilized. The paper provides several historical illustrations and sheds light on some of the legal paradoxes of ancient law.

Keywords: retaliation, optimal enforcement, deterrence, ancient law

JEL Classification: K13, K14, K42

Suggested Citation

Parisi, Francesco and Pi, Daniel and Luppi, Barbara and Fargnoli, Iole, Deterrence of Wrongdoing in Ancient Law (October 14, 2014). Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 14-38. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2510080 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2510080

Francesco Parisi (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Law School ( email )

229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

University of Bologna ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 1
40126 Bologna, fc 47100
Italy

Daniel Pi

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

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Barbara Luppi

Università degli studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE) - Faculty of Business and Economics ( email )

Viale Berengario 51
41100 Modena, Modena 41100
Italy

University of St. Thomas School of Law

2115 Summit Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55105
United States

Iole Fargnoli

University of Bern - School of Law ( email )

Schanzeneckstrasse 1
Bern, 3012
Switzerland

University of Milan - Faculty of Law ( email )

Via Festa del Perdono, 7
20122 Milano
Italy

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