This chapter discusses the theory of the public enforcement of law - the use of public
agents (inspectors, tax auditors, police, prosecutors) to detect and to sanction
violators of legal rules. Authors first present the basic elements of the theory,
focusing on the probability of imposition of sanctions, the magnitude and form of
sanctions, and the rule of liability. Then they examine a variety of extensions of
the central theory, including accidental harms, costs of imposing fines, mistake,
marginal deterrence, settlement, self-reporting, repeat offenses and incapacitation.
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