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​Economics Seminar | Crime Entanglement, Deterrence, and Witness Credibility 

Published on: 29-Nov-2019

EventCrime Entanglement, Deterrence, and Witness Credibility
Asst Prof Harry Pei Di
Northwestern University, U.S
Date29 November 2019 (Friday)
Time4:00pm – 5:30pm
VenueHSS Meeting Room 4 (HSS-04-71)

About the Seminar
When a defendant is accused of multiple crimes, one may consider punishing him if the probability that he has committed at least one of these crimes is high. We show that entangling criminal accusations in this way can severely harm deterrence and reduce witnesses’ credibility. When conviction entails a large punishment, an individual’s decisions to commit distinct crimes are substitutes and witnesses’ reports are complements. This tension induces negatively correlated private information and a coordination motive among witnesses, which leads to uninformative reports, ineffective deterrence, and frequent crimes in equilibrium. We discuss various remedies to restore credibility and reduce crime.

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