A Note on the Optimal Punishment for Repeat Offenders

Univ. of Bern Economics Discussion Paper No. 01.04

11 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2001

See all articles by Winand Emons

Winand Emons

University of Bern - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: May 2002

Abstract

Agents may commit a crime twice. The act is inefficient so that the agents are to be deterred. The agents are wealth constrained so that increasing the fine for the first offense means a reduction in the sanction for the second offense and vice versa. The agents may follow history dependent strategies. The government seeks to minimize the probability of apprehension. The optimal sanction scheme is decreasing rather than increasing in the number of offenses. Indeed, the sanction for the first offense equals the entire wealth while the sanction for the second offense is zero.

Keywords: crime and punishment, repeat offenders

JEL Classification: D82, K41, K42

Suggested Citation

Emons, Winand, A Note on the Optimal Punishment for Repeat Offenders (May 2002). Univ. of Bern Economics Discussion Paper No. 01.04, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=292922 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.292922

Winand Emons (Contact Author)

University of Bern - Department of Economics ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://staff.vwi.unibe.ch/emons

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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