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Do People Want Optimal Deterrence?

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  • Sunstein, Cass R
  • Schkade, David A
  • Kahneman, Daniel

Abstract

Two studies test whether people believe in optimal deterrence. The first provides people with personal injury cases that are identical except for variations in the probability of detection and explores whether lower probability cases produce higher punitive damage awards and whether higher probability cases produce lower awards. No such effect is observed. The second asks people whether they agree or disagree with administrative and judicial policies that increase penalties when the probability of detection is low and decrease penalties when the probability of detection is high. Substantial majorities reject these administrative and judicial policies. Policy implications for the role of the jury in achieving deterrence are explored. Copyright 2000 by the University of Chicago.

Suggested Citation

  • Sunstein, Cass R & Schkade, David A & Kahneman, Daniel, 2000. "Do People Want Optimal Deterrence?," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 237-253, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:29:y:2000:i:1:p:237-53
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/468069
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jean-Robert Tyran & Lars P. Feld, 2006. "Achieving Compliance when Legal Sanctions are Non-deterrent," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(1), pages 135-156, March.
    2. Gregory DeAngelo & Gary Charness, 2012. "Deterrence, expected cost, uncertainty and voting: Experimental evidence," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 73-100, February.
    3. Avner Bar-Ilan & Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "The Response to Fines and Probability of Detection in a Series of Experiments," NBER Working Papers 8638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Šastitko, Andrej E., 2013. "Effects of third party errors," EconStor Preprints 121747, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    5. Nicolas Baumard, 2011. "Punishment is not a group adaptation," Mind & Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Springer;Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 10(1), pages 1-26, June.
    6. Thomas A. Eaton & David B. Mustard & Susette M. Talarico, 2005. "The Effects of Seeking Punitive Damages on the Processing of Tort Claims," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(2), pages 343-369, June.
    7. Koehler, Jonathan J. & Gershoff, Andrew D., 2003. "Betrayal aversion: When agents of protection become agents of harm," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 244-261, March.
    8. Shastitko, Andrey, 2014. "Effects of the Third Party Errors," Published Papers re9021, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
    9. Andrew J. Oswald & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2008. "Death, Happiness, and the Calculation of Compensatory Damages," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(S2), pages 217-251, June.
    10. Nicolas Baumard, 2010. "Has punishment played a role in the evolution of cooperation? A critical review," Mind & Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Springer;Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 9(2), pages 171-192, December.
    11. Angelo Castaldo & Marco Grantaliano & Nicola Faraone, 2018. "La rideterminazione giudiziale delle sanzioni antitrust: tra discrezionalità tecnica e «metodologica»," Public Finance Research Papers 33, Istituto di Economia e Finanza, DIGEF, Sapienza University of Rome.
    12. repec:jdm:journl:v:12:y:2017:i:4:p:396-407 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Shastitko, A., 2011. "Errors of I and II Types in Economic Exchanges with Third Party Enforcement," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, issue 10, pages 125-148.
    14. Romaniuc Rustam, 2016. "What Makes Law to Change Behavior? An Experimental Study," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 447-475, July.
    15. Bhole, Bharat & Wagner, Jeffrey, 2010. "Punitive damages and the recklessness requirement with uninformed injurers," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 253-264, September.
    16. Nuno Garoupa, 2003. "Behavioral Economic Analysis of Crime: A Critical Review," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 5-15, January.
    17. Parikshit Ghosh, 2009. "Making the Punishment Fit the Crime or Taliban Justice? Optimal Penalties Without Commitment," Working papers 175, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    18. Nathan Berg & Gerd Gigerenzer, 2007. "Psychology Implies Paternalism? Bounded Rationality may Reduce the Rationale to Regulate Risk-Taking," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 28(2), pages 337-359, February.
    19. Thomas A. Eaton & David B. Mustard & Susette M. Talarico, 2005. "Punitive Damages and the Processing of Tort Claims," Law and Economics 0501002, EconWPA.

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