The Advantage of Focusing Law Enforcement Effort

14 Pages Posted: 9 May 2002

See all articles by Henrik Lando

Henrik Lando

Copenhagen Business School - CBS Law

Steven Shavell

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

Date Written: March 2002

Abstract

It is shown in this paper that there may exist an intrinsic advantage in focusing law enforcement effort on a subgroup of possible violators of law, rather than applying law enforcement effort uniformly over the relevant population of potential violators. For example, it might be desirable for the tax audit rate to be higher for individuals whose names begin with the letters A-M than for those whose names begin with N-Z. This may be desirable even though, as is assumed, the frequency of violations does not differ between subgroups.

Keywords: Optimal enforcement, focused enforcement, allocation of police

Suggested Citation

Lando, Henrik and Shavell, Steven, The Advantage of Focusing Law Enforcement Effort (March 2002). Harvard Law and Economics Discussion Paper No. 357. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=311384 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.311384

Henrik Lando

Copenhagen Business School - CBS Law ( email )

Porcelaenshave 18B, 1
Frederiksberg 2000
Denmark

Steven Shavell (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-3668 (Phone)
617-496-2256 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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