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A simple model of optimal deterrence and incapacitation

Author: Steven Shavell; National Bureau of Economic Research,
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, 2014.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 20747.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The deterrence of crime and its reduction through incapacitation are studied in a simple multiperiod model of crime and law enforcement. Optimal imprisonment sanctions and the optimal probability of sanctions are determined. A point of emphasis is that the incapacitation of individuals is often socially desirable even when they are potentially deterrable. The reason is that successful deterrence may require a  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Steven Shavell; National Bureau of Economic Research,
OCLC Number: 900546418
Notes: "December 2014"
Description: 1 online resource (25 pages).
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 20747.
Responsibility: Steven Shavell.

Abstract:

The deterrence of crime and its reduction through incapacitation are studied in a simple multiperiod model of crime and law enforcement. Optimal imprisonment sanctions and the optimal probability of sanctions are determined. A point of emphasis is that the incapacitation of individuals is often socially desirable even when they are potentially deterrable. The reason is that successful deterrence may require a relatively high probability of sanctions and thus a relatively high enforcement expense. In contrast, incapacitation may yield benefits no matter how low the probability of sanctions is--implying that incapacitation may be superior to deterrence.

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