On the Optimal Choice of Enforcement Technology: An Efficiency Explanation of the ECHR
15 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2005
Date Written: July 2005
This paper develops an economic analysis of enforcement technology choice and privacy rights. We provide an efficiency explanation for the Human Rights Act 1998 adopted by the UK. Our model suggests that an enforcement technology with privacy rights generates more offences (deterrence is diluted) and exhibits a reduced quality of convictions (in terms of false negatives and false positives), but could be welfare enhancing if the individual cost of being investigated is reasonably high. We also show that the choice of enforcement technology is related to the level of harm caused by crime, and it is likely that an enforcement technology with privacy rights will be welfare diminishing for extremely harmful crimes.
Keywords: Law enforcement, privacy rules, ECHR, Human Rights Act 1998
JEL Classification: K1, K4
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation