Plea Bargaining with Budgetary Constraints

28 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2005

See all articles by Steeve Mongrain

Steeve Mongrain

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Department of Economics

Joanne Roberts

University of Toronto - Department of Economics

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

In this paper, we construct a simple model that illustrates conditions under which increased criminal sanctions can lead to increased levels of crime. This finding is derived from the interaction of binding budgetary constraints and plea bargaining. In an environment with these institutional features, maximal sanctions are not always optimal when resources are limited, and increased sanctions cannot generally be viewed as a substitute for increased monitoring. We show this result in two environments. First, when defendants have some bargaining power, and second, when defendants have some private information about their financial capacity to mount a defence. This model also suggests that increased resources for prosecutors deter crime.

Keywords: Plea bargaining, budget constraint, crime, prosecutor

JEL Classification: K42, K14

Suggested Citation

Mongrain, Steeve and Roberts, Joanne, Plea Bargaining with Budgetary Constraints (2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=658481 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.658481

Steeve Mongrain (Contact Author)

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Department of Economics ( email )

8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6
Canada
604-291-3547 (Phone)
604-291-5944 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.sfu.ca/~mongrain/

Joanne Roberts

University of Toronto - Department of Economics ( email )

150 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G7
Canada

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