Black, Theodore; Orsagh, Thomas
March 1978
Social Science Quarterly (University of Texas Press);Mar1978, Vol. 58 Issue 4, p616
Academic Journal
The article focuses on the effects of punishment on the general crime rate and the effects of capital punishment on homicide. In the neoclassical model, an individual's behavior is determined by his evaluation of the utilities associated with different possible activities. There are three dimensions of deterrence associated with the use of any legal or informal sanction: the probability, the severity, and the celerity of the sanction. The probability dimension of incarceration is measured by the number of imprisonments for homicide relative to the number of homicides known to the police. The economic payoff for homicide is approximated by means of indices of per capita income.


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