Advertisement

Crime As Exchange: Retribution

  • Thomas J. MiceliEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter explores an alternative economic theory of crime based on the work of Richard Adelstein. Unlike the Becker model, it argues that the criminal process operates as part of the “exchange order” of society. The goal of punishment is, therefore, to mediate criminal exchanges, defined to be involuntary transfers of legal rights between offenders and their victims. Within this setting, criminal liability is specifically aimed at “completing the exchange” by imposing proportional punishment on offenders. That is, offenders pay for the crime that they committed, while at the same time the public nature of punishment implicitly compensates society for the moral costs of the crime. The guiding principle of this system is retribution, or corrective justice on a case-by-case basis, rather than deterrence.

References

  1. Adelstein, Richard. 1981. Institutional Function and Evolution in the Criminal Process. Northwestern University Law Review 76: 1–99.Google Scholar
  2. ———. 2017. The Exchange Order: Property and Liability as an Exchange System. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Andreoni, James. 1991. Reasonable Doubt and the Optimal Magnitude of Fines: Should the Penalty Fit the Crime? The Rand Journal of Economics 22 (3): 385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Calabresi, Guido, and A. Douglas Melamed. 1972. Property Rules, Liability Rules, and Inalienability: One View of the Cathedral. Harvard Law Review 85: 1089–1128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Coleman, Jules. 1988. Markets, Morals and the Law. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Cooter, Robert. 1984. Prices and Sanctions. Columbia Law Review 84: 1523–1560.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. ———. 1989. Punitive Damages for Deterrence: When and How Much? Alabama Law Review 40: 1143–1196.Google Scholar
  8. Dawson, Robert. 1969. Sentencing: The Decision as to Type, Length, and Conditions of Sentence. Boston: Little Brown.Google Scholar
  9. Friedman, David. 2000. Law’s Order: What Economics Has to Do with the Law and Why It Matters. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Harel, Alon. 2012. Economic Analysis of Criminal Law: A Survey. In Research Handbook on the Economics of Criminal Law, ed. Alon Harel and Keith Hylton. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hart, H.L.A. 1982. Punishment and Responsibility: Essays in the Philosophy of Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Holmes, Oliver Wendell. 1881 [1963]. The Common Law. Boston: Little Brown.Google Scholar
  13. Kahan, Dan. 1998. Social Meaning and the Economic Analysis of Crime. The Journal of Legal Studies 27: 609–622.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Keeton, W. Page, Dan Dobbs, Robert Keeton, and David Owen. 1984. Prosser and Keeton on Torts. 5th ed. St. Paul: West Publishing.Google Scholar
  15. Klevorick, Alvin. 1985. On the Economic Theory of Crime. In NOMOS XXVII: Criminal Justice, ed. J. Pennock and J. Chapman. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Landes, William, and Richard Posner. 1987. The Economic Structure of Tort Law. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lundberg, Alexander. 2016. Sentencing Discretion and Burdens of Proof. International Review of Law and Economics 46: 34–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mermin, Samuel. 1982. Law and the Legal System: An Introduction. 2nd ed. Boston: Little-Brown.Google Scholar
  19. Miceli, Thomas. 2018. On the Proportionality of Punishments and the Economic Theory of Crime. European Journal of Law and Economics 46: 303–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Michelman, Frank. 1967. Property, Utility, and Fairness: Comments on the Ethical Foundations of ‘Just Compensation’ Law. Harvard Law Review 80: 1165–1258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mungan, Murat. 2012. The Scope of Criminal Law. In Research Handbook on the Economics of Criminal Law, ed. A. Harel and K. Hylton. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  22. Murphy, Jeffrie. 1997. Repentance, Punishment, and Mercy. In Repentance: A Comparative Perspective, ed. A. Etzioni and D. Carney. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  23. Parisi, Francesco, and Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci. 2004. The Rise and Fall of Communal Liability in Ancient Law. International Review of Law and Economics 24: 489–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Phlips, Louis. 1983. The Economics of Price Discrimination. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Polinsky, A. Mitchell, and Steven Shavell. 1998. Punitive Damages: An Economic Analysis. Harvard Law Review 111: 869–962.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Posner, Richard. 1983. The Economics of Justice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  27. ———. 2003. Economic Analysis of Law. 6th ed. New York: Aspen Law and Business.Google Scholar
  28. Posner, Eric, and E. Glen Weyl. 2018. Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Markets for a Just Society. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Shavell, Steven. 1993. The Optimal Structure of Law Enforcement. Journal of Law and Economics 36: 255–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. White, Mark. 2018. The Neglected Nuance of Beccaria’s Theory of Punishment. European Journal of Law and Economics 46: 315–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of ConnecticutStorrs MansfieldUSA

Personalised recommendations