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Does Capital Punishment have a "Local" Deterrent Effect on Homicides?

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  • Randi Hjalmarsson

Abstract

The vast majority of death penalty studies use geographically or temporally aggregated data. Such aggregation can make it virtually impossible to identify small amounts of variation in homicides due to executions. Therefore, this study uses data that are disaggregated down to daily and city levels to test whether executions have a short-term deterrent effect. Little consistent evidence is found that Texas executions deter Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston homicides from 1999 to 2004. The analysis also does not consistently support the hypotheses that the deterrent effect should be more evident for local executions or executions that received local media coverage. Copyright 2008, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Randi Hjalmarsson, 2008. "Does Capital Punishment have a "Local" Deterrent Effect on Homicides?," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 310-334.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:amlawe:v:11:y:2008:i:2:p:310-334
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/aler/ahn004
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    Cited by:

    1. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2011. "Econometric Estimates of Deterrence of the Death Penalty: Facts or Ideology?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 448-478, August.
    2. Ethan Cohen-Cole & Steven Durlauf & Jeffrey Fagan & Daniel Nagin, 2008. "Model Uncertainty and the Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 335-369.
    3. Berit C. Gerritzen & Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2013. "Facts or Ideology: What Determines the Results of Econometric Estimates of the Deterrence Effect of Death Penalty? A Meta-Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 4159, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Michael Frakes & Matthew Harding, 2009. "The Deterrent Effect of Expansions in Death Penalty Eligibility Criteria," Discussion Papers 08-033, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

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