Optimal Imprisonment and Fines with Non-Discriminatory Sentences

9 Pages Posted: 14 May 2019 Last revised: 28 Jun 2019

See all articles by Nuno Garoupa

Nuno Garoupa

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School

Murat C. Mungan

Texas A&M University School of Law

Date Written: May 4, 2019

Abstract

When considering the optimal combination of monetary sanctions (costless) and imprisonment (costly) as deterrents, the traditional result is that imprisonment should not be imposed until monetary sanctions are completely exhausted. Therefore, imprisonment acts as a mere supplement to maximal fines. We show that, when wealth varies across individuals, it could be efficient to use imprisonment in combination with fines that do not exhaust the wealth of all individuals. The rationale is that, generally, it is impractical to tailor criminal sanctions as a continuous function of individuals' wealth.

Keywords: Optimal Enforcement, Imprisonment, Fines

JEL Classification: K0, K4

Suggested Citation

Garoupa, Nuno and Mungan, Murat C., Optimal Imprisonment and Fines with Non-Discriminatory Sentences (May 4, 2019). Economics Letters, Forthcoming, George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 19-14, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3382839 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3382839

Nuno Garoupa

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Murat C. Mungan (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University School of Law

1515 Commerce St.
Fort Worth, TX Tarrant County 76102
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
81
Abstract Views
989
Rank
563,360
PlumX Metrics