Three Essays on Rule Enforcement
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CitationSigstad, Henrik. 2019. Three Essays on Rule Enforcement. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractWhen can individuals be incentivized to enforce impersonal rules? This dissertation consists of three chapters, each trying in different ways to address this question. The first chapter uses a close election regression discontinuity design to document that local politicians in Brazil are more likely to be acquitted from corruption charges if they win the election. I provide evidence consistent with the effect coming from law enforcers being directly influenced by the power of elected politicians, and not from electoral winners having better lawyers. The second chapter exploits random assignment of court cases to judges to ask to what extent the identity of the judge matters for whether criminal cases are appealed in Norway. I find that there are large differences between the rate at which different judges have their decisions appealed, which cannot be attributed to statistical noise. Judges with higher appeal tendencies are found to be more stringent, faster, disagreeing more with their peers, and having spent a longer time in their current court. The third chapter discusses theoretically when norms of collective action can be enforced and argues that they are more likely to be enforced if signals about norm violations are public and categorical in nature.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42013070
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