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Lethal Elections: Gubernatorial Politics and the Timing of Executions

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  • Kubik, Jeffrey D
  • Moran, John R

Abstract

We document the existence of a gubernatorial election cycle in state executions, which suggests that election-year political considerations play a role in determining the timing of executions. Our analysis indicates that states are approximately 25 percent more likely to conduct executions in gubernatorial election years than in other years. We also find that elections have a larger effect on the probability that an African-American defendant will be executed in a given year than on the probability that a white defendant will be executed and that the overall effect of elections is largest in the South.

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  • Kubik, Jeffrey D & Moran, John R, 2003. "Lethal Elections: Gubernatorial Politics and the Timing of Executions," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(1), pages 1-25, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:y:2003:v:46:i:1:p:1-25
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/374705
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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 270-290, June.
    2. Poterba, James M, 1994. "State Responses to Fiscal Crises: The Effects of Budgetary Institutions and Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 799-821, August.
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    1. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:11:y:2004:i:2:p:1-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Pi-Han Tsai, 2014. "State Fiscal Rules and Composition Changes in Public Spending before the Election," Public Finance Review, , vol. 42(1), pages 58-91, January.
    3. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2009. "Direkte Demokratie und Menschenrechte," CREMA Working Paper Series 2009-18, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    4. Laura M. Argys & H. Naci Mocan, 2004. "Who Shall Live and Who Shall Die? An Analysis of Prisoners on Death Row in the United States," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 255-282, June.
    5. Radha Iyengar, 2011. "Who's the Fairest in the Land? Analysis of Judge and Jury Death Penalty Decisions," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(3), pages 693-722.
    6. James M. Poterba, 2005. "Steven D. Levitt: 2003 John Bates Clark Medalist," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 181-198, Summer.
    7. Spyros Skouras & Nicos Christodoulakis, 2014. "Electoral misgovernance cycles: evidence from wildfires and tax evasion in Greece," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 533-559, June.
    8. Bernd Süssmuth, 2004. "A note on death penalty executions and business cycles in U.S. federal states: Is there any nexus?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 11(2), pages 1-9.
    9. Hanson, Andrew, 2009. "Local employment, poverty, and property value effects of geographically-targeted tax incentives: An instrumental variables approach," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 721-731, November.

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