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

Abstract

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

Zyzik, Radosław, The Rational Villain Myth. Statistics and Psychology Versus Economic Analysis Of Law (June 15, 2018). Decyzje 2018, vol. 29, p. 67-85. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3397948

Radosław Zyzik (Contact Author)

Jesuit University Ignatianum ( email )

Kopernika Str. 26
Cracow, Lesser Poland 31-501
Poland
+48728459682 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Radostaw_Zyzik

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