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Penalty Enhancement for Hate Crimes: An Economic Analysis

Posted: 31 Oct 2003  

Dhammika Dharmapala

University of Chicago Law School

Nuno M. Garoupa

Texas A&M University School of Law; Catholic University of Portugal (UCP) - Católica Global School of Law

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Abstract

This paper develops an economic analysis of penalty enhancements for bias-motivated (or "hate") crimes. Our model allows potential offenders' benefits from a crime to depend on the victim's group identity, and assumes that potential victims have the opportunity to undertake socially costly victimization avoidance activities. We derive the result that a pattern of crimes disproportionately targeting an identifiable group leads to greater social harm (even when the harm to an individual victim from a bias-motivated crime is identical to that from an equivalent non-hate crime). In addition, we consider a number of other issues related to hate crime laws.

Keywords: Law enforcement, hate crimes, penalty enhancement

JEL Classification: K14, K42

Suggested Citation

Dharmapala, Dhammika and Garoupa, Nuno M., Penalty Enhancement for Hate Crimes: An Economic Analysis. American Law and Economics Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=453420

Dhammika Dharmapala (Contact Author)

University of Chicago Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Nuno M. Garoupa

Texas A&M University School of Law ( email )

1515 Commerce St.
Fort Worth, TX 76102
United States

Catholic University of Portugal (UCP) - Católica Global School of Law ( email )

Lisboa
Portugal

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