Do People Want Optimal Deterrence?

Posted: 16 Feb 2000

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

Two studies test whether people believe in optimal deterrence. The first provides people with personal injury cases that are identical except for variations in the probability of detection, and explores whether lower probability cases produce higher punitive damage awards, and whether higher probability cases produce lower awards. No such effect is observed. The second asks people whether they agree or disagree with administrative and judical policies that increase penalties when the probability of detection is low, and decrease penalties when the probability of detection is high. Substantial majorities reject these administrative and judical policies. Policy implications for the role of the jury in achieving deterrence are explored.

Suggested Citation

Sunstein, Cass R. and Schkade, David and Kahneman, Daniel, Do People Want Optimal Deterrence? (May 1999). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=196672

Cass R. Sunstein (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts Ave
Areeda Hall 225
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-2291 (Phone)

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

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

David Schkade

University of California, San Diego ( email )

Rady School of Management
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States
858-822-5933 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://management.ucsd.edu/cms/showcontent.aspx?ContentID=89

Daniel Kahneman

Princeton University ( email )

Department of Psychology 3-2-1 Green Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544
United States
609-258-2280 (Phone)
609-258-2809 (Fax)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
2,024
PlumX Metrics