31 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2011
Date Written: April 20, 2011
In 2007, the Wall Street Journal published an article claiming that each execution saves more than 70 lives. This example is used to show how easy it is, using simple or advanced econo-metric techniques, to produce results that do or do not support the deterrence hypothesis. Moreover, we also point to some puzzles which have not been satisfactorily solved so far. We then present a critical survey of the papers published in the last ten years. It is shown how simple changes can produce quite different results using the same data. Finally, we draw some conclusions about the usefulness of statistical arguments in policy debates, but also on the moral questions involved in this particular debate.
Keywords: Death Penalty, Deterrence, Econometric Evidence, Ideology
JEL Classification: K14, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Kirchgässner, Gebhard, Econometric Estimates of Deterrence of the Death Penalty: Facts or Ideology? (April 20, 2011). U. of St. Gallen Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2011-05. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1816542 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1816542