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A Note on Marginal Deterrence: Evidence


  • C. Detotto


  • BC. McCannon
  • M. Vannini



Empirical evidence of the marginal deterrent effect is provided. Exploring a data set of kidnapping crimes in Sardinia between 1960 and 2012 changes in Italian policy regarding sanctions for kidnapping and their associated impact on murders is considered. Deaths associated with kidnappings increase in prevalence when the kidnapping sanction increased, causing a decrease the marginal sanction for murder. Death rates reversed when enhanced sanctions for murder were later introduced.

Suggested Citation

  • C. Detotto & BC. McCannon & M. Vannini, 2013. "A Note on Marginal Deterrence: Evidence," Working Paper CRENoS 201310, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  • Handle: RePEc:cns:cnscwp:201310

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Shepherd, Joanna M, 2002. "Fear of the First Strike: The Full Deterrent Effect of California's Two- and Three-Strikes Legislation," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 159-201, January.
    2. Shavell, Steven, 1992. "A note on marginal deterrence," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 345-355, September.
    3. Erkki Koskela & Matti Viren, 1997. "An occupational choice model of crime switching," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(5), pages 655-660.
    4. George J. Stigler, 1974. "The Optimum Enforcement of Laws," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 55-67 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Harold Houba & Evgenia Motchenkova & Quan Wen, 2011. "Antitrust Enforcement and Marginal Deterrence," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-166/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    6. Detotto, Claudio & Pulina, Manuela, 2010. "Assessing substitution and complementary effects amongst crime typologies," MPRA Paper 20046, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Robert B. Ekelund Jr. & John D. Jackson & Rand W. Ressler & Robert D. Tollison, 2006. "Marginal Deterrence and Multiple Murders," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 521-541, January.
    8. Laurent Franckx, 2004. "Marginal Deterrence Through Ambient Environmental Inspections," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 51(4), pages 507-527, September.
    9. M. Vannini & B. McCannon & C. Detotto, 2012. "Understanding Ransom Kidnapping and Its Duration," Working Paper CRENoS 201219, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    10. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, I P L, 1994. "Marginal Deterrence in Enforcement of Law," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 1039-1066, October.
    11. Friedman, David & Sjostrom, William, 1993. "Hanged for a Sheep--The Economics of Marginal Deterrence," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 345-366, June.
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    More about this item


    sardinia; murder; marginal deterrence; kidnapping; crime;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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