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Free to Punish? The American Dream and the harsh Treatment of Criminals

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  • Juan Dubra

    ()

  • Rafael Di Tella

Abstract

We describe the evolution of selective aspects of punishment in the US over the period 1980-2004. We note that imprisonment increased around 1980, a period that coincides with the “Reagan revolution” in economic matters. We build an economic model where beliefs about economic opportunities and beliefs about punishment are correlated. We present three pieces of evidence (across countries, within the US and an experimental exercise) that are consistent with the model.

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File URL: http://www.um.edu.uy/docs/working_paper_um_cee_2011_05.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Facultad de Ciencias Empresariales y Economia. Universidad de Montevideo. in its series Documentos de Trabajo/Working Papers with number 1105.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:mnt:wpaper:1105

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Postal: Prudencio de Pena 2440, Montevideo 11600
Web page: http://www.um.edu.uy/cee/
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Related research

Keywords: Beliefs; Multiple equilibria; Illegal behavior; Sentences;

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References

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  1. 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, octubre-d.
  2. Benabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2012. "Laws and Norms," IZA Discussion Papers 6290, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Benoît, Jean-Pierre & Dubra, Juan, 2007. "Overconfidence?," MPRA Paper 6017, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Nov 2007.
  4. Di Tella, Rafael & Dubra, Juan, 2008. "Crime and punishment in the "American Dream"," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(7), pages 1564-1584, July.
  5. Eric Rasmusen, 1995. "``Stigma and Self-Fulfilling Expectations of Criminality''," Law and Economics 9506001, EconWPA.
  6. Hall, Peter A. & Soskice, David (ed.), 2001. "Varieties of Capitalism: The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199247752, September.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Economic freedom and prisons
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-09-16 14:02:00

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