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On the Disutility and Discounting of Imprisonment and the Theory of Deterrence

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  • A. Mitchell Polinsky
  • Steven Shavell

Abstract

This article studies the implications for the theory of deterrence of (a) the manner in" which individuals' disutility from imprisonment varies with the length of the imprisonment" term; and (b) discounting of the future disutility and future public costs of imprisonment. Two" questions are addressed: Is deterrence enhanced more by increasing the length of imprisonment" terms or instead by raising the likelihood of imposing imprisonment? What is the optimal" combination of the severity and probability of imprisonment sanctions?"

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6259.

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Date of creation: Nov 1997
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6259

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Cited by:
  1. Dhammika Dharmapala & Nuno Garoupa, 2002. "Penalty Enhancement for Hate Crimes: An Economic Analysis," Working papers 2002-12, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  2. Entorf, Horst & Meyer, Susanne, 2004. "Kosten und Nutzen des Strafvollzuges: Grundlagen im Rahmen einer rationalen Kriminalpolitik," Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics 37290, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute of Economics (VWL).
  3. Entorf, Horst, 2007. "Evaluation des Maßregelvollzugs: Grundzüge einer Kosten-Nutzen-Analyse," Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics 35718, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute of Economics (VWL).
  4. Polinsky, A. Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 2007. "The Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
  5. Daniel Kessler & Steven D. Levitt, 1998. "Using Sentence Enhancements to Distinguish between Deterrence and Incapacitation," NBER Working Papers 6484, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Alexander Klein, 2000. "Jail or Fine - Let Them Choose," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0337, Econometric Society.
  7. 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.
  8. Lambsdorff, Johann & Nell, Mathias, 2007. "Fighting corruption with asymmetric penalties and leniency," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 59, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  9. Harel, Alon & Segal, Uzi, 1999. "Criminal Law and Behavioral Law and Economics: Observations on the Neglected Role of Uncertainty in Deterring Crime," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1-2), pages 276-312, Fall.
  10. Bjerk, David, 2008. "On the role of plea bargaining and the distribution of sentences in the absence of judicial system frictions," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-7, March.
  11. Chang, Juin-jen & Lai, Ching-chong & Yang, C. C., 2000. "Casual police corruption and the economics of crime:: Further results," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 35-51, March.
  12. Richard Boylan & Cheryl Xiaoning Long, 2000. "Size, Monitoring and Plea Rate: An Examination of United States Attorneys," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0089, Econometric Society.
  13. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 2006. "Public Enforcement of Law," Discussion Papers 05-016, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

Lists

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
  1. Злосторство in Wikipedia (Macedonian)
  2. Public-order crime in Wikipedia (English)
  3. Criminalità in Wikipedia (Italian)
  4. Crime in Wikipedia (English)

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