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The Economics of Shame: Why More Shaming may Deter Less

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  • Alon Harel

    ()

  • Alon Klement

    ()

Abstract

This paper investigates the effectiveness of shaming penalties. It establishes that there may be an inverse relation between the rate of shaming penalties and their deterrent effects - the more people are shamed the less deterring shaming penalties become. This conclusion is based on a search model in which the costs of searching for law-abiding partners increase with the rate of shaming, and may lead to lower expected sanction for offenders. The inverse relation between the rate of shaming penalties and their effectiveness is later used to show that increasing the probability of detection, increasing the magnitude of shaming penalties or reducing the number of wrongful acquittals does not necessarily increase the deterrent effects of shaming penalties (and may, in fact, decrease these effects).

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File URL: http://ratio.huji.ac.il/sites/default/files/publications/dp401.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem in its series Discussion Paper Series with number dp401.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp401

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Cited by:
  1. Antonio Nicita & Matteo Rizzolli, 2013. "In Dubio Pro Reo. Behavioral explanations of pro-defendant bias in procedures," BEMPS - Bozen Economics & Management Paper Series BEMPS04, School of Economics and Management at the Free University of Bozen.

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