We argue that societies sometimes choose not to enforce the law to gain “flexibility”. Especially developing countries face a dilemma between discretion and commitment to only partially-contingent rules. Rules are good for incentives, but discretion may be more “flexible”. We embed this dilemma in a political model and show that citizens will not support strong enforcement institutions unless the state is able to commit to sufficiently sophisticated redistributive policies.
Forteza, Álvaro, & Noboa, C. (2019). Tolerance of noncompliance: Discretion rather than simple rules?. Estudios De Economía, 46(1), 31–59. Retrieved from https://estudiosdeeconomia.uchile.cl/index.php/EDE/article/view/52634