Società Italiana di Diritto ed Economia, SIDE - ISLE 2015 - 11TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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Crime, corruption and optimal leniency
Norhan Ossama

Last modified: 2015-12-05


In this paper, we consider leniency programs as a legal tool to fight illegal activities involving the bribery of a public official. We assess thus the impact of different institutional designs of leniency programs on the level of illegal activity and on the level of corruption. We show that a leniency program, that is not well designed, may have the perverse effect of increasing the level of illegal activity, and under certain institutional designs, it would imply higher levels of corruption. Furthermore, we show that a benevolent legislator, who aims to reduce the levels of crime and the related corruption, would set the leniency rate to its minimum levels and would allow only the criminal to apply for leniency when leniency is offered after the detection of the illegal activity.

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