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

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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

Abstract

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)

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Authors

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


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