Consent v. Welfare: On the Optimal Penalty for Harassment

38 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2021

See all articles by Ratul Das Chaudhury

Ratul Das Chaudhury

Monash University

Birendra Rai

Monash University

Liang Choon Wang

Monash University - Department of Economics

Dyuti Banerjee

Monash University - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 25, 2021

Abstract

The economic approach to determine optimal legal policies involves maximizing a social welfare function. We propose an alternative: a consent-approach that seeks to promote consensual interactions and deter non-consensual interactions. The consent-approach does not rest upon inter-personal utility comparisons or value judgments about preferences. It does not require any additional information relative to the welfare-approach. We highlight the contrast between the welfare-approach and the consent-approach using a stylized model inspired by seminal cases of harassment and the #MeToo movement. The social welfare maximizing penalty for harassment in our model can be zero under the welfare-approach but not under the consent-approach.

Keywords: Consent, social welfare, harassment, law

JEL Classification: D63, K00, J47

Suggested Citation

Das Chaudhury, Ratul and Rai, Birendra and Wang, Liang Choon and Banerjee, Dyuti, Consent v. Welfare: On the Optimal Penalty for Harassment (February 25, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3792627 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3792627

Ratul Das Chaudhury (Contact Author)

Monash University ( email )

Department of Economics
Monash University
Clayton, Victoria 3800
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/view/ratul-das-chaudhury

Birendra Rai

Monash University ( email )

23 Innovation Walk
Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3800
Australia

Liang Choon Wang

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/liangchoonwang/

Dyuti Banerjee

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

Australia

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