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October 30, 2006



If it didn't carry a cost, there would be no issue, would there? How well can we estimate the cost? How many lives saved should we demand per innocent executed? One isn't enough. 1000 is perhaps more than enough. Maybe it turns on the sort of "innocent" executed - we mean only that they didn't do that particular murder, not that they are pillars of the community. Choppy waters, these.


Conscription was unlikely to be a good thing anyway from the British record. Crime was lower when we had it, but that is simply because crime levels have been rising since the end of WW2, including during the period where there was conscription. Conscription is simply a very expensive way of demotivating a workforce in order to provide the manpower of a kind of war that is now impossible. There are much better ways of cutting crime, such as visible policing.


Tell me I'm scanning the paper wrong.

As I go through the table at the end of the paper I find that the impact on the homicide rate of executions is always at the third decimal point (0.00x).

So if the homicide rate is 3% having executions would reduce it to 2.97% at best.

So yes, it works but even if this does meet some stat test, it does not look very significant in real terms.

Right? Are am I reading the results wrong.

Or, is just another example of economists torturing the data until it confesses to some crime?


And yet the US has both a frequently implemented death penalty and a high murder rate.

How many such conclusions are based on the assumption that the US is typical? It is quite common for panel data regressions to show positive coefficients within groups and negative between groups.

Not Saussure

After an admittedly quick look at the paper on conscription (in Argentina) I can't find any discussion of factors that enable people to escape the draft, either legally or through bribery. I'd suspect these could be relevant to your future chances of being convicted of a criminal offence there.

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