Punishment – and Beyond
Contemporary Economics, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp. 90-99, 2011
10 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2012
Date Written: June 30, 2011
This paper argues that the “Economics of Crime” concentrates too much on punishment as a means of preventing 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
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