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The Becker Paradox and Type I vs. Type II Errors in the Economics of Crime
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
2006 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Two real-world observations are not easily replicated in models of crime. First, although capital punishment is optimal in Becker’s (1986) model, it is rarely observed in the real world. Second, criminal procedure and the evaluation of evidence vary across societies and historical periods, the standard of proof being sometimes very high and sometimes quite low. In this paper, we develop a general equilibrium model of judicial procedure allowing for innocent persons being convicted. We show that the median voter theorem applies to this model, making judicial procedure endogenous. So formulated, the model can replicate both empirical observations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: IIES , 2006. , 39 p.
Seminar Paper / Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University. (Online), ISSN 1653-610X ; 741
Keyword [en]
criminal law, judicial error, burden of proof
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-42220OAI: diva2:344425
Available from: 2010-08-19 Created: 2010-08-19 Last updated: 2010-08-19Bibliographically approved

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Persson, Mats
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Institute for International Economic StudiesDepartment of Economics

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