Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Econometric Estimates of Deterrence of the Death Penalty: Facts or Ideology?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Gebhard Kirchgässner

Abstract

In 2007, the Wall Street Journal published an article claiming that each execution saves more than 70 lives. This example is used to show how easy it is, using simple or advanced econometric techniques, to produce results that do or do not support the deterrence hypothesis. Moreover, we also point to some puzzles which have not been satisfactorily solved so far. We then present a critical survey of the papers published in the last ten years. It is shown how simple changes can produce quite different results using the same data. Finally, we draw some conclusions about the usefulness of statistical arguments in policy debates, but also on the moral questions involved in this particular debate.

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.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2011/wp-cesifo-2011-05/cesifo1_wp3443.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3443.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3443

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Poschingerstrasse 5, 81679 Munich
Phone: +49 (89) 9224-0
Fax: +49 (89) 985369
Email:
Web page: http://www.cesifo.de
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: death penalty; deterrence; econometric evidence; ideology;

Other versions of this item:

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. Sunstein, Cass R. & Vermeule, Adrian, 2005. "Is Capital Punishment Morally Required? The Relevance of Life-Life Tradeoffs," Working paper 129, Regulation2point0.
  2. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1975. "The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment: A Question of Life and Death," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 397-417, June.
  3. Stephen K. Layson, 1983. "Homicide and Deterrence: Another View of the Canadian Time-Series Evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 16(1), pages 52-73, February.
  4. Rubin Paul H., 2006. "Reply to Donohue and Wolfers on the Death Penalty and Deterrence," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 3(5), pages 1-3, April.
  5. Ted Joyce, 2009. "A Simple Test of Abortion and Crime," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 112-123, February.
  6. Angela K. Dills & Jeffrey A. Miron & Garrett Summers, 2008. "What Do Economists Know About Crime?," NBER Working Papers 13759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. John Donohue & Steven Levitt, 2000. "The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime," NBER Working Papers 8004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Donohue, John J & Wolfers, Justin, 2006. "Uses and Abuses of Empirical Evidence in the Death Penalty Debate," CEPR Discussion Papers 5493, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Posner Richard A, 2006. "The Economics of Capital Punishment," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 3(3), pages 1-3, March.
  10. John J. Donohue & Justin Wolfers, 2009. "Estimating the Impact of the Death Penalty on Murder," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 249-309.
  11. Hashem Dezhbakhsh & Joanna M. Shepherd, 2003. "The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment: Evidence from a "Judicial Experiment"," Emory Economics 0314, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  12. Cameron, Samuel, 1988. "The Economics of Crime Deterrence: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 301-23.
  13. Mark Duggan, 2001. "More Guns, More Crime," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 1086-1114, October.
  14. John Donohue & Ian Ayres, . "The Latest Misfires in Support of the More Guns, Less Crime Hypothesis," Yale Law School John M. Olin Center for Studies in Law, Economics, and Public Policy Working Paper Series yale_lepp-1010, Yale Law School John M. Olin Center for Studies in Law, Economics, and Public Policy.
  15. Michael Frakes & Matthew Harding, 2009. "The Deterrent Effect of Death Penalty Eligibility: Evidence from the Adoption of Child Murder Eligibility Factors," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 451-497.
  16. Russell Smyth & Paresh Kumar Narayan, 2004. "Dead Man Walking: An Empirical Reassessment of the Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment Using the Bounds Testing Approach to Cointegration," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 332, Econometric Society.
  17. Kenneth L. Avio, 1979. "Capital Punishment in Canada: A Time-Series Analysis of the Deterrent Hypothesis," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 12(4), pages 647-76, November.
  18. repec:nbr:nberwo:12631 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Robert B. Ekelund Jr. & John D. Jackson & Rand W. Ressler & Robert D. Tollison, 2006. "Marginal Deterrence and Multiple Murders," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 521-541, January.
  20. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2005. "(Why) Are Economists Different?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1396, CESifo Group Munich.
  21. Donohue John & Wolfers Justin J, 2006. "Letter: A Reply to Rubin on the Death Penalty," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 3(5), pages 1-3, April.
  22. Ian Ayres & John J. Donohue III, 2009. "Yet Another Refutation of the More Guns, Less Crime Hypothesis – With Some Help From Moody and Marvell," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 6(1), pages 35-59, January.
  23. 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, vol. 5(2), pages 344-376, August.
  24. Ted Joyce, 2004. "Did Legalized Abortion Lower Crime?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
  25. Carlisle E. Moody & Thomas B. Marvell, 2009. "The Debate on Shall Issue Laws, Continued," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 6(2), pages 203-217, May.
  26. Theodore J. Joyce, 2009. "Abortion and Crime: A Review," NBER Working Papers 15098, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. John J. Donohue III & Steven D. Levitt, 2003. "Further Evidence that Legalized Abortion Lowered Crime: A Reply to Joyce," NBER Working Papers 9532, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. McManus, Walter S, 1985. "Estimates of the Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment: The Importance of the Researcher's Prior Beliefs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 417-25, April.
  29. Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1978. "Capital Punishment and Homicide in England: A Summary of Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 422-27, May.
  30. Carlisle E. Moody & Thomas B. Marvell, 2008. "The Debate on Shall-Issue Laws," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 5(3), pages 269-293, September.
  31. Donohue John & Wolfers Justin J, 2006. "The Death Penalty: No Evidence for Deterrence," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 3(5), pages 1-6, April.
  32. 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, vol. 46(2), pages 453-78, October.
  33. John J. Donohue & Steven D. Levitt, 2008. "Measurement Error, Legalized Abortion, and the Decline in Crime: A Response to Foote and Goetz," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(1), pages 425-440, 02.
  34. 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, vol. 23(1-2), pages 197-214.
  35. Kovandzic, Tomislav & Schaffer, Mark E & Kleck, Gary, 2008. "Estimating the Causal Effect of Gun Prevalence on Homicide Rates: A Local Average Treatment Effect Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 3589, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  36. Randi Hjalmarsson, 2008. "Does Capital Punishment have a "Local" Deterrent Effect on Homicides?," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 310-334.
  37. Opp, Karl-Dieter, 1989. "The Economics of Crime and the Sociology of Deviant Behaviour: A Theoretical Confrontation of Basic Propositions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 405-30.
  38. Becker Gary S., 2006. "On the Economics of Capital Punishment," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 3(3), pages 1-4, March.
  39. Licht Amir N., 2008. "Social Norms and the Law: Why Peoples Obey the Law," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(3), pages 715-750, December.
  40. Ethan Cohen-Cole & Steven Durlauf & Jeffrey Fagan & Daniel Nagin, 2007. "Model uncertainty and the deterrent effect of capital punishment," Risk and Policy Analysis Unit Working Paper QAU07-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  41. Tom R. Tyler, 1997. "Procedural Fairness and Compliance with the Law," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 133(II), pages 219-240, June.
  42. Cook, Philip J. & Ludwig, Jens, 2006. "The social costs of gun ownership," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 379-391, January.
  43. Christopher L. Foote & Christopher F. Goetz, 2008. "The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime: Comment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(1), pages 407-423, 02.
  44. Rafael Di Tella & Sebastian Edwards & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2010. "The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number dite09-1, June.
  45. Ian Ayres & John J. Donohue III, 2002. "Shooting Down the More Guns, Less Crime Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 9336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  46. Rubin Paul H., 2006. "Reply: The Death Penalty Once More," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 3(6), pages 1-2, April.
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. Philipp Mandel & Bernd Süssmuth, 2011. "Total Instructional Time Exposure and Student Achievement: An Extreme Bounds Analysis Based on German State-Level Variation," CESifo Working Paper Series 3580, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Kirchgässner, Gebhard, 2012. "Zur Rolle der Ökonometrie in der wissenschaftlichen Politikberatung," Economics Working Paper Series 1223, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.

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:ces:ceswps:_3443. 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: (Julio Saavedra).

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.