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From the 'econometrics of capital punishment' to the 'capital punishment' of econometrics: on the use and abuse of sensitivity analysis

  • Hashem Dezhbakhsh
  • Paul Rubin

The academic debate over the deterrent effect of capital punishment has intensified again with a major policy outcome at stake. About two dozen empirical studies have recently emerged that explore the issue. Donohue and Wolfers (2005) claim to have examined the recent studies and shown the evidence not to be robust to specification changes. We argue that the narrow scope of their study does not warrant this claim. Moreover, focusing on our two studies that they have examined, we show the deterrence findings to be robust, while their work has serious flaws and their reporting appears to be selective. The selectivity is biased towards showing 'no deterrence'.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 43 (2011)
Issue (Month): 25 ()
Pages: 3655-3670

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:43:y:2011:i:25:p:3655-3670
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