Does Capital Punishment Deter White‐Collar Crimes?

25 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2020

See all articles by Rajeev K. Goel

Rajeev K. Goel

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ummad Mazhar

Shaheed Zulkar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology

Date Written: June 2019

Abstract

This paper examines whether capital punishment, either directly or via a spillover effect, has a deterrent effect on white collar crimes. Using data on nearly 150 nations and various dimensions of capital punishment, including capital punishment for non‐violent crimes, we consider two widely prevalent white‐collar crimes—corruption and the shadow economy. Nesting the empirical analysis in the broader literature on determinants of corruption and the shadow economy, we find that capital punishment in general reduced both corruption and the shadow economy, and the deterrent effect on the shadow economy was relatively more prevalent. Adding some empirical insights to the theoretical arguments surrounding the desirability of maximal punishments, results show some trade‐off between the quantity and quality of punishment.

Keywords: capital punishment, corruption, government, island, rule of law, shadow economy

Suggested Citation

Goel, Rajeev K. and Mazhar, Ummad, Does Capital Punishment Deter White‐Collar Crimes? (June 2019). The World Economy, Vol. 42, Issue 6, pp. 1873-1897, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3620326 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/twec.12739

Rajeev K. Goel (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Ummad Mazhar

Shaheed Zulkar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology ( email )

90 and 100 Clifton
Karachi, ISLAMABAD 75600
Pakistan

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