31 Pages Posted: 16 May 2006
Date Written: May 2006
This entry for the forthcoming The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics (Second Edition) surveys the economic analysis of public enforcement of law - the use of public agents (inspectors, tax auditors, police, prosecutors) to detect and to sanction violators of legal rules. We first discuss the basic elements of the theory: the probability of imposition of sanctions, the magnitude and form of sanctions (fines, imprisonment), and the rule of liability. We then examine a variety of extensions, including the costs of imposing fines, mistake, marginal deterrence, settlement, self-reporting, repeat offenses, and incapacitation.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Polinsky, A. Mitchell and Shavell, Steven, Public Enforcement of Law (May 2006). Stanford Law and Economics Olin Working Paper No. 322. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=901512 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.901512
By Mark Cohen