Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The effects of the enforcement strategy.

Suurmond, Guido (2007): The effects of the enforcement strategy. Published in: Department of Economics Research Memorandum No. 2007.03 (2007): pp. 1-25.


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The conventional economic literature on law enforcement provides no satisfactory explanation for the enforcement policies in the field of environmental regulation, safety regulation and health regulation. In these fields enforcement usually applies administrative law sanctions and is characterized primarily by advice, persuasion and warnings. This is illustrated for the enforcement of fire safety regulation in bars and restaurants by Dutch municipalities. I demonstrate that economic analyses are well able to explain the benefits and need of an enforcement policy of advice, persuasion and warnings. However, it is also true that in the specific field analyzed a more deterrent policy by more severe punishment will most likely improve compliance. As such, the general economic argument of the benefits of deterrence should not be abandoned.

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