Are Gambling NBA Referees More Like Speeding Motorists or Corporate Executives?
posted by Dave Hoffman
On the ‘Glom, Christine Hurt has posted When Everyone Breaks the Rules (NBA Style) . In it, she critiques David Stern’s decision not to punish the NBA referees, who collectively, it seems, have all violated the league’s anti-gambling rules in assorted ways. Christine seems to think the situation is sort of like the problem of under-enforced corporate law, a topic she has a new (terrific) piece about. Perhaps NBA referees ought to be subject to discretionary enforcement, targeted at the worst offenders or those who are (bad) norm entrepreneurs.
But there are times when a community’s lack of compliance with the law means it is a bad law – like speeding. Unfortunately, I can’t think of a particularly good principle to distinguish regimes that require more legal enforcement from those that require different laws. An efficiency analysis here would seem to be particularly unhelpful, because L&E is notably bad at telling us much about which acts should be criminalized. What do you think – should NBA refs be allowed to play in a home poker game?