Free to Punish? The American Dream and the Harsh Treatment of Criminals
AbstractWe 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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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17309.
Date of creation: Aug 2011
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Publication status: published as Di Tella, Rafael. "Free to Punish? The American Dream and the Harsh Treatment of Criminals." Cato Papers on Public Policy 1 (2011).
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Other versions of this item:
- Juan Dubra & Rafael Di Tella, 2011. "Free to Punish? The American Dream and the harsh Treatment of Criminals," Documentos de Trabajo/Working Papers 1105, Facultad de Ciencias Empresariales y Economia. Universidad de Montevideo..
- E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
- K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
- P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
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