Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Information corruption and optimal law enforcement

Jellal, Mohamed and Garoupa, Nuno (2007): Information corruption and optimal law enforcement. Published in: European Journal of Law and Economics No. 23: 59-69 (2007)

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Abstract

We consider the role of asymmetric information on the emergenceof collusion between criminals and enforcers, in the framework proposed by Bowles and Garoupa (1997) and Polinsky and Shavell (2001). Our paper proposes that the optimal criminal sanction for the underlying o®ense is not necessarily maximal. We achieve this result by coupling the criminal sanction for the underlying o®ense with a criminal sanction for corruption, both imposed on o®enders. A higher criminal sanction for the underlying o®ense implies that the government must spend more resources to detect and punish corruption (since the likelihood of collusion increases). Thus, the government could reduce this sanction, save on detection, and increase the criminal sanction for corruption (in order to o®set the negative e®ect on deterrence).

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