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Do People Want Optimal Deterrence?

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Author Info

  • Sunstein, Cass R
  • Schkade, David A
  • Kahneman, Daniel

Abstract

Two studies test whether people believe in optimal deterrence. The first provides people with personal injury cases that are identical except for variations in the probability of detection and explores whether lower probability cases produce higher punitive damage awards and whether higher probability cases produce lower awards. No such effect is observed. The second asks people whether they agree or disagree with administrative and judicial policies that increase penalties when the probability of detection is low and decrease penalties when the probability of detection is high. Substantial majorities reject these administrative and judicial policies. Policy implications for the role of the jury in achieving deterrence are explored. Copyright 2000 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): 29 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 237-53

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:29:y:2000:i:1:p:237-53

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

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Cited by:
  1. Koehler, Jonathan J. & Gershoff, Andrew D., 2003. "Betrayal aversion: When agents of protection become agents of harm," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 244-261, March.
  2. Nicolas Baumard, 2011. "Punishment is not a group adaptation," Mind and Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 10(1), pages 1-26, June.
  3. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2007. "Death, Happiness, and the Calculation of Compensatory Damages," IZA Discussion Papers 3159, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Parikshit Ghosh, 2009. "Making the Punishment Fit the Crime or Taliban Justice? Optimal Penalties without Commitment," Working Papers id:2014, eSocialSciences.
  5. Nicolas Baumard, 2010. "Has punishment played a role in the evolution of cooperation? A critical review," Mind and Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 9(2), pages 171-192, December.
  6. Nathan Berg & Gerd Gigerenzer, 2007. "Psychology Implies Paternalism? Bounded Rationality may Reduce the Rationale to Regulate Risk-Taking," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 337-359, February.
  7. Bhole, Bharat & Wagner, Jeffrey, 2010. "Punitive damages and the recklessness requirement with uninformed injurers," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 253-264, September.
  8. Shastitko, A., 2011. "Errors of I and II Types in Economic Exchanges with Third Party Enforcement," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, issue 10, pages 125-148.
  9. Nuno Garoupa, 2003. "Behavioral Economic Analysis of Crime: A Critical Review," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 5-15, January.
  10. Thomas A. Eaton & David B. Mustard & Susette M. Talarico, 2005. "Punitive Damages and the Processing of Tort Claims," Law and Economics 0501002, EconWPA.
  11. Gregory DeAngelo & Gary Charness, 2012. "Deterrence, expected cost, uncertainty and voting: Experimental evidence," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 73-100, February.
  12. 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.

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