Professor Martin Pritikin’s latest article, “The Collection Gap: Underenforcement of Corporate and White-Collar Fines and Penalties,” co-authored with Professor Ezra Ross of UCLA, has received quite a bit of attention over the past few weeks since its publication in the Yale Law and Policy Review.
Besides being one of the top ten most downloaded articles on SSRN in five different topical areas, their piece was referenced in an article in the New York Times, as well as on the Thompson Reuters news outlet. The two will present their paper this month at the Law Conference of the Athens Institute for Education and Research. They have also been invited to include their paper in a policy report published by a Washington think tank.
The article focuses on the phenomenon that federal, state and local agencies impose tens of billions of dollars per year in civil, criminal and administrative fines and penalties on individuals and entities found to have engaged in wrongdoing—and then fail to collect the vast majority of those amounts. The article amasses evidence of undercollection; analyzes the extent to which such collections failures are the fault of the agencies versus the result of factors beyond their control; explores the root causes of undercollection; and discusses possible reforms, including increased privatization of debt collection and the development of a robust market in government debt purchasing.