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The Paradox of Punishment

Reflections on the Economics of Criminal Justice

Authors: Miceli, Thomas J.

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  • Provides a systematic analysis of the economics of criminal law and of the criminal justice system
  • Examines competing theories and goals of criminal law, from ex ante theories of deterrence to ex post theories of retribution
  • Asks how law influences human behavior, both through its moral dimension and the threat of punishment
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eBook $89.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-31695-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-31694-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book explores the insights that can be gained by looking at the criminal justice system from an economic point of view. It provides an economic analysis of the institutional structure and function of the criminal justice system, how its policies are formulated, and how they affect behavior. Yet it goes beyond an examination of specific policies to address the broad question of how law influences behavior. For example, it examines how concepts such as the possibility of redemption affect the decisions of repeat offenders, and whether individual responsibility is (or should be) a pre-requisite for punishment. Finally, the book argues that, in addition to the threat of criminal sanctions, law inculcates principles of acceptable behavior among citizens by asserting that certain acts are “against the law.” This “expressive function” of law can influence behavior to the extent that at least some people in society are receptive to such a message. For these people, the moral content of law has more than mere symbolic value, and consequently, it can expand the scope of traditional law enforcement while lowering its cost. Another goal of the book is therefore to use economic theory to assess this dualistic function of law by specifically recognizing how its policies can both internalize an ethic of obedience to the law among some people irrespective of its consequences, while simultaneously threatening to punish those who only respond to external incentives.

About the authors

Thomas J. Miceli is Professor of Economics at the University of Connecticut, USA. His research is largely in the area of law and economics, with particular emphasis on property and criminal law. He is a recognized authority on the economics of eminent domain, a subject on which he has authored or co-authored three books. He has also published undergraduate and graduate level textbooks on law and economics, and has co-authored a law school textbook. Currently, he serves as an associate editor for the International Review of Law and Economics.

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $89.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-31695-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-31694-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Paradox of Punishment
Book Subtitle
Reflections on the Economics of Criminal Justice
Authors
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-31695-2
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-31695-2
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-31694-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVII, 234
Number of Illustrations
22 b/w illustrations
Topics