American Economic Review: Vol. 100 No. 3 (June 2010)


Quick Tools:

Print Article Summary
Export Citation
Sign up for Email Alerts Follow us on Twitter


AER - All Issues

AER Forthcoming Articles

A Theory of Optimal Random Crackdowns

Article Citation

Eeckhout, Jan, Nicola Persico, and Petra E. Todd. 2010. "A Theory of Optimal Random Crackdowns." American Economic Review, 100(3): 1104-35.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.3.1104


An incentives based theory of policing is developed which can explain the phenomenon of random "crackdowns," i.e., intermittent periods of high interdiction/ surveillance. For a variety of police objective functions, random crackdowns can be part of the optimal monitoring strategy. We demonstrate support for implications of the crackdown theory using traffic data gathered by the Belgian Police Department and use the model to estimate the deterrence effect of additional resources spent on speeding interdiction. (JEL K42, R41)

Article Full-Text Access

Full-text Article

Additional Materials

Download Data Set (265.54 KB) | Online Appendix (543.14 KB)


Eeckhout, Jan (ICREA-Graduate School of Economics, Barcelona)
Persico, Nicola (NYU)
Todd, Petra E. (U PA)

JEL Classifications

K42: Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
R41: Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise

American Economic Review

Quick Tools:

Sign up for Email Alerts

Follow us on Twitter

Subscription Information
(Institutional Administrator Access)


AER - All Issues

AER - Forthcoming Articles

Virtual Field Journals

AEA Member Login:

AEAweb | AEA Journals | Contact Us