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Execution and deterrence: a quasi-controlled group experiment

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  • Dale Cloninger
  • Roberto Marchesini

Abstract

Using portfolio analysis in a type of controlled group experiment, this study develops an empirical model of homicide changes in Texas over a period of a 'normal' number of executions. The empirically derived model then estimates the changes in the number of homicides in Texas (1) over a period of near zero executions and; (2) over an immediate subsequent period of double the 'normal' number of executions. The actual changes in Texas homicides over the first period is less than estimated by the model and greater (or no different) than estimated by the model in the second period. Because changes in the number of homicides in Texas and throughout the United States were negative over both periods, these empirical results are consistent with the deterrence hypothesis. That is, there were a greater than predicted number of homicides in the first period and fewer than predicted number in the second period.

Suggested Citation

  • Dale Cloninger & Roberto Marchesini, 2001. "Execution and deterrence: a quasi-controlled group experiment," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(5), pages 569-576.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:33:y:2001:i:5:p:569-576
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840122871
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    Cited by:

    1. Donohue III, John J. & Wolfers, Justin, 2006. "Uses and Abuses of Empirical Evidence in the Death Penalty Debate," IZA Discussion Papers 1949, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. 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.
    3. Berit C. Gerritzen & Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2013. "Facts or Ideology: What Determines the Results of Econometric Estimates of the Deterrence Effect of Death Penalty?," CREMA Working Paper Series 2013-04, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    4. Hashem Dezhbakhsh & Paul Rubin, 2011. "From the 'econometrics of capital punishment' to the 'capital punishment' of econometrics: on the use and abuse of sensitivity analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(25), pages 3655-3670.
    5. Eide, Erling & Rubin, Paul H. & Shepherd, Joanna M., 2006. "Economics of Crime," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 2(3), pages 205-279, December.
    6. Paresh Kumar Narayan & Russell Smyth, 2006. "Dead man walking: an empirical reassessment of the deterrent effect of capital punishment using the bounds testing approach to cointegration," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(17), pages 1975-1989.
    7. Hashem Dezhbakhsh & Paul H. Rubin & Joanna M. Shepherd, 2003. "Does Capital Punishment Have a Deterrent Effect? New Evidence from Postmoratorium Panel Data," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 344-376, August.
    8. Dale Cloninger & Roberto Marchesini, 2006. "Execution moratoriums, commutations and deterrence: the case of Illinois," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(9), pages 967-973.
    9. Hashem Dezhbakhsh & Joanna M. Shepherd, 2006. "The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment: Evidence from a "Judicial Experiment"," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(3), pages 512-535, July.
    10. Paul R. Zimmerman, 2010. "The Economics of Capital Punishment and Deterrence," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Crime, chapter 16 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Joanna Shepherd, "undated". "The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment: Evidence from a "Judicial Experiment"," American Law & Economics Association Annual Meetings 1017, American Law & Economics Association.
    12. Yang, Bijou & Lester, David, 2008. "The deterrent effect of executions: A meta-analysis thirty years after Ehrlich," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 453-460, September.

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