The Impact of the Size of Bribes on Criminal Sanctions: An Integrated Philosophical and Economic Analysis

Leora Dahan Katz, Adi Libson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article analyzes the question of how the size of bribes should impact criminal sanctions. In contrast to the commonly held view that punishment should increase with the size of the bribe, we argue to the contrary: That the punishment of the bribee should decrease with the size of the bribe. Our conclusion is based both on a philosophical argument and an economic argument. We argue that all else being equal, as an agent's reservation price for selling public interests decreases, the culpability of the agent willing to receive a bribe increases. In addition, from an economic perspective, the expected social harm of an official acting with a low reservation price for bribes is much greater than one acting with a high reservation price: both the susceptibility of being bribed as well as the potential for social harm is much greater when the reservation price is low.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)31-46
Number of pages16
JournalCanadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 17 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), 2024.

Keywords

  • Bribes
  • Criminal Sanctions
  • Culpability
  • Economic Analysis

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The Impact of the Size of Bribes on Criminal Sanctions: An Integrated Philosophical and Economic Analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this