Title

Utility and Community: Musings on the Tort/Crime Distinction

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1996

ISSN

0006-8047

Publisher

Boston University School of Law

Language

en-US

Abstract

In this Paper, I propose the following two step procedure to explain both the inclusion and exclusion of criminal utility. As a first step, I posit a full compliance utility function. This utility function includes all utilities for all activities and incorporates an assumption that all members of society will forego prohibited activities. Aa s preliminary matter, I will also presuppose common information and shared values within the community. I suggest that maximization of full compliance social utility determines what society prohibits. As a second step, I strip the social utility function of the utility from prohibited activities and drop the assumption of full compliance. I suggest that maximization of this stripped social utility function determines degrees of deterrence and enforcement.

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