Optimal Sanctions When Individuals are Imperfectly Informed About the Probability of Apprehension

9 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2001 Last revised: 26 Aug 2010

See all articles by Lucian A. Bebchuk

Lucian A. Bebchuk

Harvard Law School; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Louis Kaplow

Harvard Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: May 1992

Abstract

This paper considers optimal enforcement when individuals may be imperfectly informed about the probability of apprehension. When individuals are perfectly informed, optimal sanctions are maximal because, as Gary Becker (1968) suggested, society can economize on enforcement resources by reducing the probability of apprehension while increasing sanctions. But when individuals imperfectly observe the probability of apprehension, it may be optimal to apply lower sanctions while expending more enforcement resources.

Suggested Citation

Bebchuk, Lucian A. and Kaplow, Louis, Optimal Sanctions When Individuals are Imperfectly Informed About the Probability of Apprehension (May 1992). NBER Working Paper No. w4079. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=285417

Lucian A. Bebchuk (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-3138 (Phone)
617-812-0554 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.harvard.edu/faculty/bebchuk/

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Louis Kaplow

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-4101 (Phone)
617-496-4880 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.harvard.edu/faculty/directory/facdir.php?id=32&show=bibliography

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
30
Abstract Views
1,386
PlumX Metrics