Avner Bar-Ilan

University of Haifa

Institutional Affiliation: University of Haifa

NBER Working Papers and Publications

December 2001The Response to Fines and Probability of Detection in a Series of Experiments
with Bruce Sacerdote: w8638
We use traffic data from a series of experiments in the United States and Israel to examine how illegal behavior is deterred by various penalty schemes and whether deterrence varies with age, income, driving record and criminal record. We find that red light running decreases sharply in response to an increase in the fine or an increase in the probability of being caught. The elasticity of violations with respect to the fine is larger for younger drivers and drivers with older cars. Drivers convicted of violent offenses or property offenses run more red lights on average but have the same elasticity as drivers without a criminal record. Within Israel, members of ethnic minority groups have the smallest elasticity with respect to a fine increase.

Published: Bar-Ilan, Avner and Bruce Sacerdote. "Response to Fines and Probabilities in a Natural Experiment." Journal of Law and Economics 47, 1 (April 2004).

1988Consumer Durables and the Optimality of Usually Doing Nothing
with Alan S. Blinder: w2488
This paper develops a simple but important point which is often overlooked: It is quite possible that the best policy for a rational, optimizing agent is to do nothing for long periods of time--even if new, relevant information becomes available. We illustrate this point using the market for durable goods. Lumpy costs in durables transactions lead consumers to choose a finite range, not just a single level, for their durables consumption. The boundaries of this range change with new information and, in general, obey the permanent income hypothesis. However, as long as the durable stock is within the chosen region, the consumer will not change her stock. Hence individuals will make durable transactions infrequently and their consumption can differ substantially from the prediction of the st...

Published: Journal of Money, Creit , and Banking Volume 24, No. 2, pp.258-272 May 1992

February 1987The Life-Cycle Permanent-Income Model and Consumer Durables
with Alan S. Blinder: w2149
This paper presents an extension of the life-cycle permanent-income model of consumption to the case of a durable good whose purchase involves lumpy trans- actions costs. Where individual behavior is concerned, the implications of the model are different in some respects from those of standard consumption theory. Specifically, rather than choose an optimal path for the service flow from durables, the optimizing consumer will choose an optimal range and try to keep his service flow inside that range. The dynamics implied by this behavior is different from that of the stock adjustment model. Properties of aggregate durables consumption are derived by explicit aggregation. In particular, it is shown that expenditures on durables display very large short-run elasticity to changes in permanent ...


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