NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Optimal Law Enforcement with Self-Reporting of Behavior

Louis Kaplow, Steven Shavell

NBER Working Paper No. 3822 (Also Reprint No. r1905)
Issued in August 1991
NBER Program(s):   LE

Self-reporting -- the reporting by parties of their own behavior to an enforcement authority -- is a commonly observed aspect of law enforcement, as in the context of environmental and safety regulation. We add self-reporting to the model of the control of harmful externalities through probabilistic law enforcement. Optimal self-reporting schemes are characterized and are shown to offer two advantages over schemes without self-reporting: enforcement resources are saved because individuals who are led to report harmful acts need not be identified; risk is reduced because individuals bear certain sanctions when they report their behavior, rather than face uncertain sanctions.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w3822

Published: Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 102, no. 3, pp. 583-606, (June 1994). citation courtesy of

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