Less crime, more (vulnerable) victims: Game theory and the distributional effects of criminal sanctions

Ehud Guttel*, Barak Medina

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Harsh sanctions are conventionally assumed to primarily benefit vulnerable targets. Contrary to this perception, this article shows that augmented sanctions ofien serve the less vulnerable targets. While decreasing crime, harsher sanctions also induce the police to shift enforcement efforts from more to less vulnerable victims. When this shift is substantial, augmented sanctions exacerbate - rather than reduce-the risk to vulnerable victims. Based on this insight, this article suggests several normative implications concerning the efficacy of enhanced sanctions, the importance of victims' funds, and the connection between police operations and apprehension rates.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberA9
JournalReview of Law and Economics
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007

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