Skip to content

Steven Shavell, The Optimal Structure of Law Enforcement, 36 J.L. Econ. 255 (1993).

Abstract: Methods of law enforcement, including safety regulation, tort action, criminal enforcement, injunction and corrective taxation, can be categorized by type of sanction, the stage in time where action is taken and who takes enforcement action. This categorical analysis of society's options to deter harmful behavior can help to determine what would be the optimal procedure for addressing various harms. Indeed, the variety of methods of enforcement shows a degree of understanding that different harms have different optimal means of deterrence.