Do People Want Optimal Deterrence?

University of Chicago Law School, John M. Olin Law & Economics Working Paper No. 77

29 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 1999

See all articles by Cass R. Sunstein

Cass R. Sunstein

Harvard Law School; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

David Schkade

University of California, San Diego

Daniel Kahneman

Princeton University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 1999

Abstract

This paper tests the question whether people favor optimal deterrence policies. More particularly, it asks whether people are willing to increase penalties when the probability of detection is low, or to decrease penalties when the probability of detection is high. Two experiments are reported, suggesting that people do not spontaneously think in terms of optimal deterrence, and that people would have objections to policies based on the goal of optimal deterrence. Institutional implications are briefly discussed.

Suggested Citation

Sunstein, Cass R. and Schkade, David and Kahneman, Daniel, Do People Want Optimal Deterrence? (May 1999). University of Chicago Law School, John M. Olin Law & Economics Working Paper No. 77. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=166168 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.166168

Cass R. Sunstein (Contact Author)

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Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

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David Schkade

University of California, San Diego ( email )

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Daniel Kahneman

Princeton University ( email )

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609-258-2809 (Fax)

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