The Optimal Deterrence of Crime: A Focus on the Time Preference of DWI Offenders

68 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2019

See all articles by Yuqing Wang

Yuqing Wang

University of Macau - Social Sciences & Humanities

Yan Ru Pei

University of California San Diego

Date Written: September 20, 2019

Abstract

We develop a general model for finding the optimal penal strategy based on the behavioral traits of the offenders. We focus on how the discount rate (level of time discounting) affects criminal propensity on the individual level, and how the aggregation of these effects influences criminal activities on the population level. The effects are aggregated based on the distribution of discount rate among the population. We study this distribution empirically through a survey with 207 participants, and we show that it follows zero-inflated exponential distribution. We quantify the effectiveness of the penal strategy as its net utility for the population, and show how this quantity can be maximized. When we apply the maximization procedure on the offense of impaired driving (DWI), we discover that the effectiveness of DWI deterrence depends critically on the amount of fine and prison condition.

Keywords: General Deterrence, Rational Choice Theory, Social Welfare Function, Economic Optimization, Time Preference, Impaired Driving

JEL Classification: C12, C25, C61, C83, I31, K14, K42

Suggested Citation

Wang, Yuqing and Pei, Yan Ru, The Optimal Deterrence of Crime: A Focus on the Time Preference of DWI Offenders (September 20, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3457220 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3457220

Yuqing Wang

University of Macau - Social Sciences & Humanities ( email )

P.O. Box 3001
Av. Padre Tomas Pereira S.J.
Taipa
Macau

Yan Ru Pei (Contact Author)

University of California San Diego ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
42
Abstract Views
348
PlumX Metrics