Does Punishment Matter? A Refinement of the Inspection Game

Rimawan Pradiptyo, University of York
Review of Law and Economics 3:2, 2007

We attempt to revise the inspection game used by George Tsebelis to model phenomena in criminal justice. The refinement has been conducted by disaggregating the game payoffs and then using findings from empirical studies to reconstruct the game. In contrast to Tsebelis’ propositions, we find that the severity of punishment may affect the offending behavior of individuals. The result also holds for the case in which the authority initiates crime prevention programs, by providing incentives to those who do not have a criminal history. The impact of increasing the severity of punishment on reducing individuals’ offending behavior is less certain than that of instigating crime prevention programs. This result holds so long as the authority does not alter the levels of enforcement.

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