A Comment on Accuracy in Public Law Enforcement Under Political Competition

Supreme Court Economic Review, Forthcoming

5 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2019

See all articles by Francesco Parisi

Francesco Parisi

University of Minnesota - Law School; University of Bologna

Date Written: March 11, 2019

Abstract

In this Comment, I discuss Marie Obidzinski’s (2019) paper considering the effects of political competition on the accuracy of law enforcement and criminal justice. The paper develops an economic model to explain the empirical findings of Lin (2007) and McCannon (2013). The model generates novel insights, showing that political competition does not foster optimal enforcement and accuracy in criminal justice and that distortions are generated by political competition relative to the Becker’s (1968) optimality benchmark by a benevolent social planner. The model shows that when law enforcement actors operate under the pressures of political competition, they engage in lower than optimal levels of enforcement and accuracy for small crimes and a higher than optimal levels of enforcement and accuracy for larger crimes.

Keywords: Criminal Justice Accuracy, Electoral Competition

JEL Classification: K14, K42, D72

Suggested Citation

Parisi, Francesco, A Comment on Accuracy in Public Law Enforcement Under Political Competition (March 11, 2019). Supreme Court Economic Review, Forthcoming . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3350737

Francesco Parisi (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Law School ( email )

229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

University of Bologna ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 1
40126 Bologna, fc 47100
Italy

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