Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

State executions, deterrence, and the incidence of murder

Contents:

Author Info

Abstract

This study employs a panel of U.S. state-level data over the years 1978-1997 to estimate the deterrent effect of capital punishment. Particular attention is paid to problems of endogeneity bias arising from the non-random assignment of death penalty laws across states and a simultaneous relationship between murders and the deterrence probabilities. The primary innovation of the analysis lies in the estimation of a simultaneous equations system whose identification is based upon the employment of instrumental variables motivated by the theory of public choice. The estimation results suggest that structural estimates of the deterrent effect of capital punishment are likely to be downward biased due to the influence of simultaneity. Correcting for simultaneity, the estimates imply that a state execution deters approximately fourteen murders per year on average. Finally, the results also suggest that the announcement effect of capital punishment, as opposed to the existence of a death penalty provision, is the mechanism actually driving the deterrent effect associated with state executions.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.cema.edu.ar/publicaciones/download/volumen7/zimmerman.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Universidad del CEMA in its journal Journal of Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): VII (2004)
Issue (Month): (May)
Pages: 163-193

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:cem:jaecon:v:7:y:2004:n:1:p:163-193

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Av. Córdoba 374, (C1054AAP) Capital Federal
Phone: (5411) 6314-3000
Fax: (5411) 4314-1654
Email:
Web page: http://www.cema.edu.ar/publicaciones/jae.html
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: capital punishment; deterrence; executions; murder;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. John Gist & R. Hill, 1981. "The economics of choice in the allocation of Federal grants: An empirical test," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 63-73, January.
  2. Benson, B.L. & Kim, I. & Rasmussen, D.W., 1992. "Estimating Deterrence Effects: A Public Choice Perspective on the Economics of Crime Literature," Working Papers, Department of Economics, Florida State University 1992_12_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
  3. Cameron, Samuel, 1994. "A review of the econometric evidence on the effects of capital punishment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 197-214.
  4. Lawrence Katz & Steven D. Levitt & Ellen Shustorovich, 2003. "Prison Conditions, Capital Punishment, and Deterrence," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 318-343, August.
  5. Marvell, Thomas B & Moody, Carlisle E, 2001. "The Lethal Effects of Three-Strikes Laws," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 89-106, January.
  6. Raphael, Steven & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1999. "Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 2129, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Brumm, Harold J. & Cloninger, Dale O., 1996. "Perceived risk of punishment and the commission of homicides: A covariance structure analysis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-11, October.
  8. Benson, Bruce L, 1999. " An Economic Theory of the Evolution of Governance and the Emergence of the State," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 131-60, November.
  9. Hashem Dezhbakhsh & Paul H. Rubin & Joanna M. Shepherd, 2003. "Does Capital Punishment Have a Deterrent Effect? New Evidence from Postmoratorium Panel Data," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 344-376, August.
  10. Mocan, H Naci & Gittings, R Kaj, 2003. "Getting Off Death Row: Commuted Sentences and the Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 453-78, October.
  11. Benson, Bruce L. & Rasmussen, David W. & Kim, Iljoong, 1998. "Deterrence and Public Policy: Trade-Offs in the Allocation of Police Resources," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 77-100, March.
  12. Lott, John R, Jr & Mustard, David B, 1997. "Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 1-68, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Steven N. Durlauf & Chao Fu & Salvador Navarro, 2011. "Capital Punishment and Deterrence: Understanding Disparate Results," Working Papers, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group 2012-005, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  2. Choe, Jongmook, 2009. "Another Look at the Deterrent Effect of Death Penalty," MPRA Paper 14071, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Berit C. Gerritzen & Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2013. "Facts or Ideology: What Determines the Results of Econometric Estimates of the Deterrence Effect of Death Penalty? A Meta-Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series, CESifo Group Munich 4159, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Yang, Bijou & Lester, David, 2008. "The deterrent effect of executions: A meta-analysis thirty years after Ehrlich," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 453-460, September.
  5. Hashem Dezhbakhsh & Joanna M. Shepherd, 2006. "The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment: Evidence from a "Judicial Experiment"," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(3), pages 512-535, July.
  6. Hashem Dezhbakhsh & Paul Rubin, 2007. "From the "Econometrics of Capital Punishment" to the "Capital Punishment" of Econometrics: On the Use and Abuse of Sensitivity Analysis," Emory Economics, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta) 0715, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  7. Paresh Kumar Narayan & Russell Smyth, 2006. "Dead man walking: an empirical reassessment of the deterrent effect of capital punishment using the bounds testing approach to cointegration," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(17), pages 1975-1989.
  8. Michael Frakes & Matthew Harding, 2009. "The Deterrent Effect of Expansions in Death Penalty Eligibility Criteria," Discussion Papers, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research 08-033, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  9. Donohue III, John J. & Wolfers, Justin, 2006. "Uses and Abuses of Empirical Evidence in the Death Penalty Debate," IZA Discussion Papers 1949, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cem:jaecon:v:7:y:2004:n:1:p:163-193. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Valeria Dowding).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.