Working Paper No. 600

Organized Crime, Curruption and Punishment

Published: October 21, 2003Pages: 44Keywords: Deterrence, Organized Crime; Corruption; Oligopoly; Free Entry JEL-codes: K42; L13

Organized Crime, Curruption and Punishment Maurice Kugler, Thierry Verdier and Yves Zenou


We analyze an oligopoly model in which differentiated criminal organizations globally compete on criminal activities and engage in local corruption to avoid punishment. When law enforcers are sufficiently well-paid, difficult to bribe and corruption detection highly probable, we show that increasing policing or sanctions effectively deters crime. However, when bribing costs are low, that is badly-paid and dishonest law enforcers work in a weak governance environment, and the rents from criminal activity relative to legal activity are sufficiently high, we find that increasing policing and sanctions can generate higher crime rates. In particular, the relationship between the traditional instruments of deterrence, namely intensification of policing and increment of sanctions, and crime is nonmonotonic. Beyond a threshold, increases in expected punishment induce organized crime to corruption, and ensuing impunity leads too higher rather than lower crime.

 

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union in a Changing World Order

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This book explores how the European Union responds to the ongoing challenges to the liberal international order. These challenges arise both within the EU itself and beyond its borders, and put into question the values of free trade and liberal democracy. 

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