A Caltech Library Service

Plea bargaining and prosecutorial discretion

Reinganum, Jennifer F. (1988) Plea bargaining and prosecutorial discretion. American Economic Review, 78 (4). pp. 713-728. ISSN 0002-8282.

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


A model of plea bargaining with asymmetric information is presented. The prosecutor's private information is the strength of the case; the defendant's is his guilt or innocence. In equilibrium, some cases are dismissed because they are too likely to involve an innocent defendant. In the remaining cases, the prosecutor's sentence offer reveals the strength of the case. A particular restriction on prosecutorial discretion is shown to be welfare-enhancing for some parameter configurations.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemWorking Paper
Additional Information:© 1988 American Economic Association. I would like to thank Kim Border, Richard Craswell, Ted Groves, Barry Nalebuff, Herman Quirmbach, Eric Rasmusen, and two anonymous referees for helpful comments and discussion. The financial support of the National Science Foundation, grant no. SES-8710578, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Graduate School of Business of the University of Chicago are gratefully acknowledged. Formerly SSWP 616.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
University of Chicago Graduate School of BusinessUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Defendants, Trials, Prosecuting attorneys, Guilty verdicts, Plea bargains, Criminal prosecution, Guilt, Expected utility, Criminal justice, Litigation
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171110-150912004
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:83132
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:16 Nov 2017 18:54
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 19:02

Repository Staff Only: item control page