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Another Look at the Deterrent Effect of Death Penalty


  • Choe, Jongmook


There is a question whether the execution rate is appropriate to examine the deterrent effect of death penalty. Instead of using execution rate, this paper uses dummy variables to categorize states into different groups and to compare the group mean homicide rates. With U.S. state-level panel data for the period 1995 - 2006, this paper fails to find a significant homicide-reducing effect of death penalty.

Suggested Citation

  • Choe, Jongmook, 2009. "Another Look at the Deterrent Effect of Death Penalty," MPRA Paper 14071, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:14071

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lawrence Katz & Steven D. Levitt & Ellen Shustorovich, 2003. "Prison Conditions, Capital Punishment, and Deterrence," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 318-343, August.
    2. Naci Mocan & Kaj Gittings, 2010. "The Impact of Incentives on Human Behavior: Can We Make it Disappear? The Case of the Death Penalty," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America, pages 379-418 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    4. 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.
    5. John J. Donohue III & Justin Wolfers, 2006. "Uses and Abuses of Empirical Evidence in the Death Penalty Debate," NBER Working Papers 11982, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Mocan, H Naci & Gittings, R Kaj, 2003. "Getting Off Death Row: Commuted Sentences and the Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 453-478, October.
    7. Paul R. Zimmerman, 2004. "State executions, deterrence, and the incidence of murder," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 7, pages 163-193, May.
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    More about this item


    Death Penalty; Execution; Homicide; Deterrence; Dummy Variable;

    JEL classification:

    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process

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