Amnesties and Co-Operation

Posted: 30 May 2001

See all articles by Nicolas Marceau

Nicolas Marceau

Centre Interuniversitaire sur le Risque, les Politiques Economiques et l'Emploi (CIRPEE)

Steeve Mongrain

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Department of Economics

Abstract

One of the costs of anticipated amnesties is current and future non-compliance with the law. Relatively to a no-amnesty situation, efficient enforcement policies may therefore differ when an amnesty is offered. To study this question, a model is built in which individuals impose a cost on society when they commit a crime. When a criminal participates in an amnesty, or (to a lesser extent) when he is caught, some fraction of the social cost is recovered, reflecting co-operation with the authorities. The analysis characterizes efficient anticipated amnesties. It is shown that the efficient level of enforcement may be smaller in the case of an anticipated amnesty than in a no-amnesty situation. The reason is that despite the increase in the initial number of criminals generated by the amnesty, many criminals eventually participate in it. If participants in the amnesty are very co-operative, then a large proportion of the social cost is recovered making the initial increase in the number of criminals less costly. The optimal level of the reduced sanction imposed on those who participate in the amnesty is also characterized.

Keywords: Amnesties, crime, co-operation, enforcement

Suggested Citation

Marceau, Nicolas and Mongrain, Steeve, Amnesties and Co-Operation. International Tax and Public Finance, Vol. 7, No. 3, 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=261970

Nicolas Marceau (Contact Author)

Centre Interuniversitaire sur le Risque, les Politiques Economiques et l'Emploi (CIRPEE) ( email )

Ste-Foy, Quebec G1K 7P4
Canada

Steeve Mongrain

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Department of Economics ( email )

8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6
Canada
604-291-3547 (Phone)
604-291-5944 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.sfu.ca/~mongrain/

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