Optimal law enforcement and criminal organization

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we study the organizational consequences of product illegality. Severe punishment reduces the dimension of a criminal network, but it might augment the effectiveness of its members. Smaller firms are easier to manage, and consequently fewer mistakes are committed, which in turn diminishes the likelihood of detection. Hence, a less severe enforcement of the law could be considered in order to achieve optimal deterrence. We also show that the allocation of sanctions between employer and employees is not unimportant as previous literature indicated. (C) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-474
JournalJournal Of Economic Behavior & Organization
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • organized crime
  • principal
  • agents
  • sanctions


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