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Punishment - And Beyond

Bruno S. Frey

CREMA; University of Basel

July 2009

CESifo Working Paper Series No. 2706

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.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 27

Keywords: crime, punishment, incentives, motivation, framing, broken window theory

JEL Classification: K42, O31

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Date posted: July 22, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Frey, Bruno S., Punishment - And Beyond (July 2009). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 2706. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1437407

Contact Information

Bruno S. Frey (Contact Author)
CREMA ( email )
Südstrasse 11
Zurich, CH 8008
+41 44 380 00 78 (Phone)
University of Basel ( email )
Peter Merian-Weg 6
Basel, 4002
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