The Rational Villain Myth. Statistics and Psychology Versus Economic Analysis Of Law
Decyzje 2018, vol. 29, p. 67-85
20 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2019
Date Written: June 15, 2018
The aim of this paper is to critically assess the economic theory of punishment and the associated decision-making model from the perspective of empirical legal studies and behavioural law and economics. In the second half of the 20th century, the economic theory of punishment was the main theory of punishment and had a signiﬁcant impact on criminal justice policy in the United States. In the early 21st century, numerous statistical studies showed limited effectiveness of the economic approach to criminal law on the one hand and the harmful effects of incarcerating a large number of inmates on the other. Consequently, there emerged the need to develop a new model of criminal decision-making. Psychologists, behavioural economists and proponents of behavioural law and economics were able to identify several factors inﬂuencing criminal decision-making such as hyperbolic discounting, optimism bias and effective forecasting, to name a few.
Keywords: homo economicus, behavioural analysis of law, criminal law, decisions, rationality, crime
JEL Classification: K44, Z18, D78
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation