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Some Experimental Evidence on Differences between Student and Prisoner Reactions to Monetary Penalties and Risk

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  • Block, Michael K
  • Gerety, Vernon E
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    Abstract

    In this article, we report on a series of laboratory experiments that investigate whether there are differences between criminals and the general population in their relative responsiveness to changes in the certainty and severity of punishment. The results of these experiments show that, while criminals are no less able than the general population to determine their financial self-interest, there are significant differences between these two groups in the effectiveness of increases in the certainty and severity of punishment in deterring antisocial behavior. Criminals appear to be much more responsive to the certainty of punishment than to its severity. In contrast, noncriminal students, consistent with a general aversion to risk, are more easily deterred by increases in severity than by increases in the certainty of punishment. Copyright 1995 by the University of Chicago.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Legal Studies.

    Volume (Year): 24 (1995)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 123-38

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:24:y:1995:i:1:p:123-38

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    Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLS/

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    Cited by:
    1. Nicolas Jacquemet & Yannick Gabuthy, 2012. "Analyse économique du droit et méthode expérimentale," Working Papers halshs-00746617, HAL.
    2. Lana Friesen, 2012. "Certainty of Punishment versus Severity of Punishment: An Experimental Investigation," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 399-421, October.
    3. Lisa R. Anderson & Sarah L. Stafford, 2005. "Does Crime Pay? A Classroom Demonstration of Monitoring and Enforcement," Working Papers 17, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
    4. Kobayashi, Bruce H. & Lott, John Jr., 1996. "In defense of criminal defense expenditures and plea bargaining," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 397-416, December.
    5. Eric Langlais, 2007. "Detection avoidance and deterrence: some paradoxical arithmetics," Working Papers of BETA 2007-06, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    6. Murphy, James J. & Stranlund, John K., 2007. "A laboratory investigation of compliance behavior under tradable emissions rights: Implications for targeted enforcement," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 196-212, March.
    7. Sarnikar, Supriya & Sorensen, Todd A. & Oaxaca, Ronald L., 2007. "Do You Receive a Lighter Prison Sentence Because You Are a Woman? An Economic Analysis of Federal Criminal Sentencing Guidelines," IZA Discussion Papers 2870, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Qin, Xiangdong & Wang, Siyu, 2013. "Using an exogenous mechanism to examine efficient probabilistic punishment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 1-10.
    9. Lana Friesen & Dietrich Earnhart, 2012. "Environmental Management Responses to Punishment: Specific Deterrence and Certainty versus Severity of Punishment," Discussion Papers Series 463, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    10. Dhammika Dharmapala & Richard H. McAdams, 2003. "Words that Kill? Economic Perspectives on Hate Speech and Hate Crimes," Working papers 2003-05, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    11. Pogarsky, Greg & Piquero, Alex R., 2004. "Studying the reach of deterrence: Can deterrence theory help explain police misconduct?," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 371-386.
    12. David Bruner, 2009. "Changing the probability versus changing the reward," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 367-385, December.
    13. Nuno Garoupa, 1998. "Crime and punishment: Further results," Economics Working Papers 344, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    14. Annamaria Nese & Arturo Palomba & Patrizia Sbriglia & Maurizio Scudiero, 2013. "Third party punishment and criminal behavior: an experiment with the Italian Camorra prison inmates," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(3), pages 1875-1884.
    15. Avner Bar-Ilan & Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "The Response to Fines and Probability of Detection in a Series of Experiments," NBER Working Papers 8638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Murphy, James J. & Stranlund, John K., 2003. "An Experimental Analysis Of Compliance Behavior In Emissions Trading Programs: Some Preliminary Results," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 22039, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    17. Libor Dusek, 2005. "Crime, Deterrence, and Democracy," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp260, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.

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