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The efficiency of crackdowns: a lab-in-the-field experiment in public transportations

Zhixin Dai, Fabio Galeotti and Marie Claire Villeval ()

Theory and Decision, 2017, vol. 82, issue 2, 249-271

Abstract: Abstract The concentration of high-frequency controls in a limited period of time (“crackdowns”) constitutes an important feature of many law-enforcement policies around the world. In this paper, we offer a comprehensive investigation on the relative efficiency and effectiveness of various crackdown policies using a lab-in-the-field experiment with real passengers of a public transport service. We introduce a novel game, the daily public transportation game, where subjects have to decide, over many periods, whether to buy or not a ticket knowing that there might be a control. Our results show that (a) concentrated crackdowns are less effective and efficient than random controls; (b) prolonged crackdowns reduce fare-dodging during the period of intense monitoring but induce a burst of fraud as soon as they are withdrawn; (c) pre-announced controls induce more fraud in the periods without control. Overall, we also observe that real fare-dodgers fraud more in the experiment than non-fare-dodgers.

Keywords: Crackdowns; Fraud; Risk; Monitoring; Transportation; Field experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D83 K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Related works:
Working Paper: The Efficiency of Crackdowns: A Lab-in-the-Field Experiment in Public Transportations (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: The Efficiency of Crackdowns: A Lab-in-the-Field Experiment in Public Transportations (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: The efficiency of crackdowns: A lab-in-the-field experiment in public transportations (2015)
Working Paper: The efficiency of crackdowns: A lab-in-the-field experiment in public transportations (2015)
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