A Comment on Accuracy in Public Law Enforcement Under Political Competition
Supreme Court Economic Review, Forthcoming
5 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2019
Date Written: March 11, 2019
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: Suggested Citation