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The application of economic analysis to criminal justice interventions: a review of the literature

Authors
Publisher
Sage Publications
Publication Date
Disciplines
  • Design
  • Economics
  • Law

Abstract

Public policy makers and practitioners have become increasingly reliant on economic analysis to provide valuable insights into decision making. However, answers from economic analyses are only as good as the quality of the analyses themselves. This article presents the findings of a literature review of the application of economic analysis to criminal justice interventions. The review started with 748 relevant bibliographic records after two consecutive screenings of 9,919 records. Ten studies, out of a total of 154 studies reviewed, were judged to encapsulate rigorous applications of economic analysis to criminal justice interventions. These findings reveal the general shortage of sound applications of economic analysis to criminal justice interventions. This article proceeds to summarize the methods used to value the costs, outcomes, and benefits in the 10 studies selected. With very few exceptions, the studies reviewed were based on less rigorous study designs.

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