A Caltech Library Service

Credibility and Law Enforcement

Reinganum, Jennifer F. and Wilde, Louis L. (1986) Credibility and Law Enforcement. Social Science Working Paper, 604. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

[img] PDF (sswp 604 - Apr. 1986) - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The precommitment approach to law enforcement is inappropriate as a positive theory of crime and punishment because it is inconsistent with the institutional structure of U.S. law enforcement. We develop a formal model which integrates theories of optimal sanctions, individual criminal behavior and the allocation of effort to apprehension, and imposes credibility constraints on the choice of sanction—i.e., given the severity of a crime and the individual characteristics of the criminal, the sanction imposed must be optimal from society's perspective, after the crime has been committed.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Additional Information:We would like to thank Michael Graetz. Alvin Klevorick, and Sam Peltzman for helpful comments and discussions. Reinganum gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Center for the Study of the Economy and the State and the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business. Both authors acknowledge the support of National Science Foundation grant no. SES-8315422.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Center for the Study of the Economy and the StateUNSPECIFIED
University of Chicago Graduate School of BusinessUNSPECIFIED
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:604
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171212-144640123
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:83837
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:20 Dec 2017 00:02
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 19:11

Repository Staff Only: item control page