The Efficiency of Crackdowns: A Lab-in-the-Field Experiment in Public Transportations
GATE Working Paper No. 1607, 2016
29 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2016
Date Written: February 8, 2016
The concentration of high frequency controls in a limited period of time (“crackdowns”) constitutes an important feature of many law-enforcement policies around the world. In this paper, we offer a comprehensive investigation on the relative efficiency and effectiveness of various crackdown policies using a lab-in-the-field experiment with real passengers of a public transport service. We introduce a novel game, the daily public transportation game, where subjects have to decide, over many periods, whether to buy or not a ticket knowing that there might be a control. Our results show that (a) concentrated crackdowns are less effective and efficient than random controls; (b) prolonged crackdowns reduce fare-dodging during the period of intense monitoring but induces a burst of fraud as soon as they are withdrawn; (c) pre-announced controls induces more fraud in the periods without control. Overall, we also observe that real fare-dodgers fraud more in the experiment than non-faredodgers.
Keywords: Crackdowns, fraud, risk, monitoring, transportation, field experiment
JEL Classification: C91, D83, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation