Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=259538
 
 

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Does Capital Punishment Have a Deterrent Effect? New Evidence from Post-Moratorium Panel Data


Hashem Dezhbakhsh


Emory University - Department of Economics

Paul H. Rubin


Emory University - Department of Economics

Joanna Shepherd


Emory University School of Law

October 2003


Abstract:     
Evidence on the deterrent effect of capital punishment is important for many states that are currently reconsidering their position on the issue. We examine the deterrent hypothesis using county-level, post-moratorium panel data and a system of simultaneous equations. The procedure we employ overcomes common aggregation problems, eliminates the bias arising from unobserved heterogeneity, and provides evidence relevant for current conditions. Our results suggest that capital punishment has a strong deterrent effect; each execution results, on average, in 18 fewer murders%97with a margin of error of plus or minus 10. Tests show that results are not driven by tougher sentencing laws, and are also robust to many alternative specifications.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 49

Keywords: Capital Punishment; death penalty; deterrence

JEL Classification: K0, K4

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Date posted: October 24, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Dezhbakhsh, Hashem and Rubin, Paul H. and Shepherd, Joanna, Does Capital Punishment Have a Deterrent Effect? New Evidence from Post-Moratorium Panel Data (October 2003). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=259538 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.259538

Contact Information

Hashem Dezhbakhsh
Emory University - Department of Economics ( email )
1602 Fishburne Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
404-727-4679 (Phone)
404-727-4639 (Fax)
Paul H. Rubin (Contact Author)
Emory University - Department of Economics ( email )
1602 Fishburne Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
404-931-0493 (Phone)
630-604-9609 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.economics.emory.edu/Rubi.htm
Joanna Shepherd
Emory University School of Law ( email )
1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
404-727-8957 (Phone)
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