IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Blackmail and "Economic" Analysis: Reply to Ginsburg and Shechtman

  • Walter Block

    (University of Central Arkansas)

  • Robert W. McGee

    (Seton Hall University)

Blackmail consists of two things, each indisputably legal on their own; yet, when combined in a single act, the result is considered a crime. First, one may gossip, and, provided that what is said is true, there is nothing illegal about it. Truth is an absolute defense. Second, if one may speak the truth, one may also threaten to speak the truth. Yet if someone requests money in exchange for silence -- money in exchange for giving up the right of free speech -- it is a crime. The law and economics literature takes the position that blackmail should be illegal on efficiency grounds. The present authors reject this law and economics analysis. They maintain that since it is legal to gossip, it should therefore not be against the law to threaten to gossip, unless paid off not to do so. In a word, blackmail is a victimless crime, and must be legalized, if justice is to be attained. The authors criticize several authors who take the efficiency position, but focus their argument on a paper written by Douglas Ginsburg and Paul Shechtman.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/le/papers/9805/9805003.pdf
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/le/papers/9805/9805003.doc.gz
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/le/papers/9805/9805003.ps.gz
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/le/papers/9805/9805003.html
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Law and Economics with number 9805003.

as
in new window

Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: 31 May 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwple:9805003
Note: Type of Document - Word 6.0; prepared on Macintosh; to print on LaserWriter 4/600PS; pages: 50
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwple:9805003. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.