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NCJ Number: 81865 Find in a Library
Title: Testing the Deterrence Effect of Capital Punishment - A Reduced Form Approach
Journal: Criminology  Volume:19  Issue:4  Dated:(February 1982)  Pages:626-649
Author(s): J A Yunker
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 24
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: There are three principal alternative explanations for the dramatic rise in crime over the last 15 years: (1) the retirement of capital punishment; (2) socioeconomic trends; (3) random social shocks starting with the Kennedy assassination in 1963. This article reports a statistical test of the second of these explanations.
Abstract: On balance, the results are unfavorable to it. The statistical test involves the extrapolation of a predicted homicide rate obtained from a reduced form regression equation estimated over the capital punishment era into the postcapital punishment era. The predicted homicide rate (based on socioeconomic variables) continues the long-run secular decline pattern after 1962, while the actual homicide rate rises precipitously. The article concludes with a brief argument that the capital punishment moratorium seems somewhat more plausible than the social shock theory as an explanation for the crime increase. (Publisher abstract)
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; Deterrence effectiveness
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