Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 18 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the application of an economic approach to the analysis of criminal law. It first outlines the theoretical framework supporting economic analysis in general and economic analysis of law in particular. Attention then turns to the intellectual history of the economic analysis of criminal law, with particular reference to its utilitarian roots. It also considers the intellectual development of the economic analysis of criminal law, including criminalization, the multiplier principle, and the tort law–criminal law divide. More specifically, it traces the economic analysis of criminal law and the deterrence-based case for criminal punishment to the workings of the founding fathers of utilitarianism and instrumentalism in legal theory: Thomas Hobbes, Cesare Beccaria, and Jeremy Bentham.

Keywords: criminal law, economic analysis, criminalization, multiplier principle, tort law, deterrence, punishment, Thomas Hobbes, Cesare Beccaria, Jeremy Bentham

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.