On the Disutility and Discounting of Imprisonment and the Theory of Deterrence

@article{Polinsky1999OnTD,
  title={On the Disutility and Discounting of Imprisonment and the Theory of Deterrence},
  author={A. Mitchell Polinsky and Steven Shavell},
  journal={The Journal of Legal Studies},
  year={1999},
  volume={28},
  pages={1 - 16}
}
  • A. Polinsky, S. Shavell
  • Published 1 November 1997
  • Sociology, Psychology, Economics
  • The Journal of Legal Studies
This article studies the implications for the theory of deterrence of (a) the manner in which individuals' disutility from imprisonment varies with the length of the imprisonment term and (b) discounting of the future disutility and future public costs of imprisonment. Two questions are addressed: Is deterrence enhanced more by increasing the length of imprisonment terms or instead by raising the likelihood of imposing imprisonment? What is the optimal combination of the severity and… 
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References

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Using Sentence Enhancements to Distinguish between Deterrence and Incapacitation
TLDR
It is demonstrated that the introduction of sentence enhancements (i.e. increased punishments that are added on to prison sentences that would have been served anyway) provides a direct means of measuring deterrence.
Jail or Fine - Let Them Choose
We reconsider two standard results of deterrence theory. The first states that there is no need for jail terms until monetary fines are not exhausted. The second says that there is no marginal
Size, Monitoring and Plea Rate: An Examination of United States Attorneys
A theoretical model relates case mix, staffing, and monitoring to the likelihood of a plea agreement. Analysis of federal drug trafficking cases in fiscal years 1993 through 1996 leads to the
Criminal Law and Behavioral Law and Economics: Observations on the Neglected Role of Uncertainty in Deterring Crime
Two similarly situated individuals commit identical crimes. The first is sentenced to 10 years in prison while the second is sentenced to 5 years. The disparity between the two sentences of the