The Determinants of Punishment: Deterrence, Incapacitation and Vengeance
AbstractDoes the economic model of optimal punishment explain the variation in the sentencing of murderers? As the model predicts, we find that murderers with a high expected probability of recidivism receive longer sentences. Sentences are longest in murder types where apprehension rates are low, and where deterrence elasticities appear to be high. However, sentences respond to victim characteristics in a way that is hard to reconcile with optimal punishment. In particular, victim characteristics are important determinants of sentencing among vehicular homicides, where victims are basically random and where the optimal punishment model predicts that victim characteristics should be ignored. Among vehicular homicides, drivers who kill women get 56 percent longer sentences. Drivers who kill blacks get 53 percent shorter sentences.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7676.
Date of creation: Apr 2000
Date of revision:
Note: LS PE
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 2000. "The Determinants of Punishment: Deterrence, Incapacitation and Vengeance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1894, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- NEP-ALL-2000-05-16 (All new papers)
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.:
- Levitt, Steven D, 1997.
"Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Police on Crime,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 270-90, June.
- Steven D. Levitt, 1995. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Policeon Crime," NBER Working Papers 4991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stigler, George J, 1970.
"The Optimum Enforcement of Laws,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(3), pages 526-36, May-June.
- 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.
- Edward L. Glaeser, 2005.
"The Political Economy of Hatred,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 120(1), pages 45-86, January.
- Nicolas Baumard, 2011. "Punishment is not a group adaptation," Mind and Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 10(1), pages 1-26, June.
- Seidl, Christian & Traub, Stefan & Morone, Andrea, 2005.
"Relative Deprivation, Personal Income Satisfaction, and Average Well-being under Different Income Distributions,"
Working Paper Series
RP2005/04, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
- Christian Seidl & Stefan Traub & Andrea Morone, 2004. "Relative Deprivation, Personal Income Satisfaction, and Average Well-Being under Different Income Distributions," Experimental 0401004, EconWPA.
- Seidl, Christian & Traub, Stefan & Morone, Andrea, 2003. "Relative Deprivation, Personal Income Satisfaction, and Average Well-Being under Different Income Distributions," Economics Working Papers 2003,05, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
- Jeffrey D. Kubik & John R. Moran, 2001. "Lethal Elections: Gubernatorial Politics and the Timing of Executions," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 40, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
- Parikshit Ghosh, 2009.
"Making the Punishment Fit the Crime or Taliban Justice? Optimal Penalties Without Commitment,"
175, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
- Parikshit Ghosh, 2009. "Making the Punishment Fit the Crime or Taliban Justice? Optimal Penalties without Commitment," Working Papers id:2014, eSocialSciences.
- Ann Dryden Witte & Robert Witt, 2001. "What We Spend and What We Get: Public and Private Provision of Crime Prevention," NBER Working Papers 8204, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.