Let the Punishment Fit the Criminal: Punishment Progressivity in a Self-governed Community in Southeastern Spain

40 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2015 Last revised: 16 Nov 2018

See all articles by Javier Donna

Javier Donna

Ohio State University (OSU) - Economics

José-Antonio Espín-Sánchez

Yale University; Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Date Written: November 14, 2018

Abstract

We investigate the roles of individual characteristics and punishment progressivity on crime. Our analysis reconciles low crime rates with light punishments in self-governed communities (Ostrom, 1990), using formal punishments to deter crime (Becker, 1968). We use a novel trial dataset on water stealing from a self-governed community in Mula, Spain. We present a model with predictions consistent with farmers' behavior in Mula: (i) judges trade off crime deterrence and insurance, recognizing that minimizing crime could be socially inefficient; (ii) punishments depend on the defendant's and victim's characteristics; (iii) recidivists are punished harsher than first time offenders for the same crime.

Keywords: Self-governed communities, Crime, Punishment, Enforcement of Law

JEL Classification: C13, L14, N43, K14, K42

Suggested Citation

Donna, Javier D. and Espin-Sanchez, Jose-Antonio, Let the Punishment Fit the Criminal: Punishment Progressivity in a Self-governed Community in Southeastern Spain (November 14, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2667588 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2667588

Javier D. Donna (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Economics ( email )

410 Arps Hall
1945 N. High St.
Columbus, OH 43210-1172
United States

Jose-Antonio Espin-Sanchez

Yale University ( email )

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8268
United States
2034320890 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://campuspress.yale.edu/espin/

Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

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