Discussion paper

DP10994 Residual Deterrence

Successes of law enforcement in apprehending offenders are often publicized events. Such events have been found to result in temporary reductions in offending, or "residual deterrence". We provide a theory of residual deterrence which accounts for the incentives of both enforcement officials and potential offenders. Our theory rests on the costs of reallocating enforcement resources. In light of these costs, we study the determinants of offending such as the role of public information about enforcement and offending.


Garrett, D and F Dilmé (2015), ‘DP10994 Residual Deterrence‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 10994. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp10994