NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

R. Kaj Gittings

Department of Economics
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX 79409-1014

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2010The Impact of Incentives on Human Behavior: Can We Make it Disappear? The Case of the Death Penalty
with Naci Mocan
in The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America, Rafael Di Tella, Sebastian Edwards, and Ernesto Schargrodsky, editors
October 2006The Impact of Incentives on Human Behavior: Can We Make It Disappear? The Case of the Death Penalty
with Naci H. Mocan: w12631
Although decades of empirical research has demonstrated that criminal behavior responds to incentives, non-economists frequently express the belief that human beings are not rational enough to make calculated decisions about the costs and benefits of engaging in crime and therefore, a priori drawing the conclusion that criminal activity cannot be altered by incentives. However, scientific research should not be driven by personal beliefs. Whether or not economic conditions matter or deterrence measures such police, arrests, prison deaths, executions, and commutations provide signals to people is an empirical question, which should be guided by a solid theoretical framework. In this paper we extend the analysis of Mocan and Gittings (2003). We alter the original model in a number of dire...

Published: Naci Mocan & Kaj Gittings, 2010. "The Impact of Incentives on Human Behavior: Can We Make it Disappear? The Case of the Death Penalty," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America, pages 379-418 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

December 2001Pardons, Executions and Homicide
with H. Naci Mocan: w8639
This paper uses a data set that consists of the entire history of 6,143 death sentences between 1977 and 1997 in the United States to investigate the impact of capital punishment on homicide. This data set is merged with state panels that include crime and deterrence measures as well as state characteristics to analyze the impact of executions and governors' pardons on criminal activity. Because the exact month and year of each execution and pardon can be identified, they are matched with criminal activity in the relevant time frame. Controlling for a variety of state characteristics, the paper investigates the impact of the execution rate, pardon rate, homicide arrest rate, the imprisonment rate and the prison death rate on the rate of homicide. The models are estimated in a number of di...

Published:

  • Mocan, H. Naci and Kaj Gittings. “Getting Off Death Row: Commuted Sentences and the Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment." Journal of Law and Economics 46, 2 (October 2003): 453-78.
  • Ehrlich, Isaac and Zhiqiang Liu (eds.) The Economics of Crime. Edward Elgar, 2006.

 
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