Capital Punishment and Deterrence: Some Further Thoughts and Additional Evidence

49 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2007

See all articles by Isaac Ehrlich

Isaac Ehrlich

State University of New York at Buffalo - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Chicago - University of Chicago Press; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Abstract

Investigation of the deterrent effect of capital punishment has implications far beyond the propriety of execution as punishment since it concerns the general question of offenders' responsiveness to incentives. This study challenges popular allegations by earlier researchers denying the deterrence hypothesis. The empirical analysis based on crosssectional data from the U.S. corroborates my earlier analysis of the time series. Findings indicate a substantial deterrent effect of punishment on murder and related violent crimes and support the economic and econometric models used in investigations of other crimes. Distinctions between classes ofexecuting and nonexecuting states are also examined in light of theory and evidence.

Suggested Citation

Ehrlich, Isaac, Capital Punishment and Deterrence: Some Further Thoughts and Additional Evidence. Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 85, No. 4, pp. 741-88, August 1977. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=961491

Isaac Ehrlich (Contact Author)

State University of New York at Buffalo - Department of Economics ( email )

415 Fronczak Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260
United States
716-645 2121 (Phone)
716-645 2127 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://arts-sciences.buffalo.edu/economics/faculty/faculty-directory/ehrlich.html

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

University of Chicago - University of Chicago Press ( email )

1427 E. 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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