Punishment – and Beyond
Institute for Empirical Research in Economics, University of Zurich, Working Paper No. 418
23 Pages Posted: 3 Jul 2009
Date Written: May 26, 2009
This paper argues that the 'Economics of Crime' concentrates too much on punishment as a policy to fight crime, which is unwise for several reasons. There are important instances in which punishment simply cannot reduce crime. Several feasible alternatives to punishment exist, such as offering positive incentives or handing out awards for law abiding behavior. These alternative approaches tend to create a positive sum environment. When people appreciate living in a society that is to a large extent law abiding, they are more motivated to observe the law.
Keywords: crime, punishment, incentives, motivation, framing, Broken Window Theory
JEL Classification: D03, K42, O31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation