« Further Comments on Capital Punishment-BECKER | Main | Organ Sales--Posner's Comment »

01/01/2006

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logicnazi

Fair enough, I guess we just mostly differ on the prior likelihood of capital punishment, practiced as spottily as it is today, having a high deterence value. While I don't doubt that the studies are more sophisticated than simple one factor regressions as you say they just aren't that totally compelling as one is always forced to make assumptions about the effects of differences between populations which one doesn't have sufficent statistical date for. My understanding was that the sort of Bayesian models to predict causal relation one just needed crazy tons of data to get results with high confidence.

Anyway my confusion over your response was the definition of deterance. I understood deterence to refer to a specific sort of effect from rational deliberation about the consequences of punishment. Thus some effects on overall crime rate would be the result of deterence and others would not be. For instance it seems incorrect to say a policy which stopped crime by killing all humans was a perfect example of deterance, the crime was ended because there was no one to committ it not because it was 'detered'. Hence I took additional crimes conducted to avoid capital punishment as an additional effect in addition to deterance.

madison

I like all of these articles on capital punishment. Very well elaborated and discussed the whole of it.

Bob K

I am still not convinced by the evidence in the form of statistical studies, and the label "sophisticated" raises even more doubts.

If I have learn anything from the Freakonomics abortion fiasco is to distrust any statistical study labeled as "sophisticated".

Or, like hedonic pricing. It sounds so sophisticated, but I just don't believe inflation is tame as measured by hedonic pricing, since, in the real world, the same salary buys less than before, due to housing, food, transportation and so on.

ben

Bob K

Rather than presume their incompetence, perhaps you could take a look at the studies and work through the methodologies. I'll take their combined decades of study over your armchair theorizing any day, particularly in view of your obvious misunderstanding of hedonic pricing.

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