A lot of great reading below. Imagine having an expert on the subject explaining all of it for you applying Austro-libertarian analysis! That’s what you can have if you sign up for Daniel D’Amico’s online course The American Prison State.
Section I. The current debate surrounding contemporary and international trends of crime and punishment
Lecture 1: The Stylized Facts of Contemporary Crime and Punishment.
The Economist (2010). “Rough Justice: America locks up too many people, some for acts that should not even be criminal,” July 22.
Available at: http://www.economist.com/node/16640389.
Higgs, R. (1999). “Etceteras… Lock ‘em Up!,” Independent Review. 4(2): 309-13.
Liptak, Adam (2008). “U.S. prison population dwarfs that of other nations,” The New York Times. April 23.
Lott, J., Loury, G. Wilson, J., Western, B. (2009). “Behind Bars in the Land of the Free,” Cato Unbound. March.
Walmsley, Roy (2009). World Prison Population List, 8th Edition, London: International Centre for Prison Studies.
West, H., and Sabol, W. (2010). “Prisoners in 2009,” Bulletin. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Lecture 2: Current Sociological Theories of Crime and Punishment.
Garland, David (2001). The Culture of Control: Crime and Social Order in Contemporary Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 1-76 and 193-206.
Garland, David (ed.) (2001). Mass Imprisonment: Social Causes and Consequences. London: Sage Publications.
Loury, Glenn (ed). (2007). Race, Incarceration, and American Values, Boston: Boston Review Books.
Roberts et al. (2003). Penal Populism and Public Opinion: Lessons From Five Countries. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 61-75.
Lecture 3: Current Economic Theories of Crime and Punishment
Avio, Kenneth (2001). “The Economics of Prisons,” in A. Tabarrok (ed) Changing of the Guard: Private Prisons and the Control of Crime. Oakland: Independent Institute.
Beccaria, Cesare (1765 ) On Crimes and Punishments and Other Writings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Becker, Gary (1968). “Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,” The Journal of Political Economy. 76: 169-217.
Bentham, Jeremy (1830). The Rationale of Punishment. Available at: http://www.laits.utexas.edu/poltheory/bentham/rp/index.html
Kleiman, Mark (2009) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment. Princeton: Princeton University Press. pp. 68-135.
Levitt, Steven (2004). “Understanding Why Crime Fell in the 1990s: Four Factors That Explain the Decline and Six That Do Not,” Journal of Economic Perspectives. 18(1): 163-90.
Section II. A New Political Economy of Crime and Punishment.
Lecture 4: Public Choice perspectives to Crime and Punishment
Benson, Bruce (1992). “The Development of Criminal Law and its Enforcement: Public Interest or Political Transfers?” Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines. 3(1): 79-108.
Benson, Bruce (1994). “Third Thoughts on Contracting Out,” Journal of Libertarian Studies. 11(1): 44-78.
Caplan, Bryan (2000). “Rational Irrationality: A Framework for the Neoclassical-Behavioral Debate,” Eastern Economic Journal.26(2): 191-211.
Flanagan, Timothy J. and Longmire, Dennis (editors) (1996). Americans View Crime and Justice: A National Public Opinion Survey. London: Sage Publications.
Klein, Ezra (2010). “How Prisons Make Bad Citizens,” The Washington Post.
Sobel, Russell, Ryan, Matt and Hall, Josh (2010) in E. Lopez (ed.). The Pursuit of Justice. Law and Economics of Legal Institutions.Oakland: Independent Institute. pp. 37-50.
Tomic, Aleksandar and Hakes, Jahn (2010). in E. Lopez (ed.). The Pursuit of Justice. Law and Economics of Legal Institutions.Oakland: Independent Institute. pp. 103-22.
Lecture 5: Austrian Perspectives to Crime and Punishment
Barnett, Randy (1998). The Structure of Liberty, Justice and the Rule of Law. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 29-40, 84-107 and 197 -256.
Cameron, Samuel (1989). “A Subjectivist Perspective on the Economics of Crime,” Review of Austrian Economics. 3: 31-43.
Carnis, Laurent (2004). “Pitfalls of the Classical School of Crime,” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. 7(4): 7-17.
Cowan, Robin and Rizzo, Mario (1996). “The Genetic-Causal Tradition and Modern Economic Theory,” Kyklos 49(3): 273-317.
Easterbrook, Frank H. (1983). “Criminal Procedure as a Market System,” The Journal of Legal Studies. 12(2): 289-332.
Elster, Jon (2007). Explaining Social Behavior: More Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences. pp. 7-66.
Hayek, F.A. (1945). “The Use of Knowledge in Society,” American Economic Review. 35(4): 519-30.
Nozick, Robert (1968). Anarchy, State and Utopia. Oxford: Blackwell. pp.10-21, 57-62, 88-90 and 137-48.
Lecture 6: Towards a Theory of Spontaneous Social Order, Violence and Voluntary Response.
A: Longer History and Wider Selection of Case Studies.
Benson, Bruce (2005). “The Spontaneous Evolution of Cyber Law: Norms, Property Rights, Contracting, Dispute Resolution and Enforcement Without the State,” Journal of Law, Economics and Policy. Winter: 269-348.
Coyne, Chris (2005). “The Institutional Prerequisites for Post-Conflict Reconstruction,” The Review of Austrian Economics.18(3/4): 325-42.
D’Amico, Daniel (2010). “The Prison in Economics: Private and Public Incarceration in Ancient Greece,” Public Choice. 145(3-4): 461-82.
De Waal, Frans (1989). Peacemaking Among Primates. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. pp. 229-272.
Friedman, David (1984). “Efficient Institutions for the Private Enforcement of Law,” Journal of Legal Studies. 13(2): 379-97.
Leeson, Peter (2009). “The Laws of Lawlessness,” Journal of Legal Studies, 38(2): 471-503.
Sykes, Gresham (1958 ). Society of Captives: A Study of Maximum Security Prison. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
B: The Heterogeneous Structure of Legislation: Civil v. Criminal Law
Harcourt, Bernard (2011). The Illusion of Free Markets: Punishment and the Myth of Natural Order. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Konczal, Mike (2010). “Is economic freedom another way of saying we need to build more prisons?” The Washington Post. Available at:
Lacey, Nicola (2008). The Prisoner’s Dilemma: Political Economy and Punishment in Contemporary Democracies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
La Porta, Rafael, Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio and Shleifer, Andrei (2007). “The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins,”Journal of Economic Literature. 46(2): 285-332.
Section III. Promoting Voluntary Social Change
Lecture 7: The Morality and Ethics of Punishment in a Complex Society.
Armstrong, K. G. (1961). “The Retributivist Hits Back,” Mind. 70(280): 471-490.
Bedau, Hugo (2003). “Punishment,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Available at: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/punishment/
H.L.A. Hart (1968 ). Punishment and Responsibility: Essays in the Philosophy of Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kirzner, Israel (1998). “Coordination as a Criterion for Economic ‘Goodness,’” Constitutional Political Economy. 9(4): 289-301.
Barnett, Randy (1986). “Pursuing Justice in a Free Society: Part Two-Crime Prevention and the Legal Order,” Criminal Justice Ethics
Barnett, Randy (1977). “Restitution: A New Paradigm of Criminal Justice,” Ethics 87(279):
Rizzo, Mario (2005). “The Problem of Moral Dirigisme: A New Argument Against Moralistic Legislation,” NYU Journal of Law & Liberty. 1(2): 781-835.
Zimbardo, Phillip (2008). The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil. New York: Random House. pp. 258-96.
Lecture 8: Transitioning Criminal Justice Systems and Constitutional Implications.
Boettke, Peter (2004). “An ‘Austrian’ Economist’s Perspective on Transitional Political Economy,” Ama-gi: The Journal of the Hayek Society at the London School of Economics. 6(2): 12-14.
D’Amico, Daniel (2008). “Tattoo Prohibition Behind Bars: The Case for Repeal,” The Journal of Private Enterprise. 23(2): 113-34.
Hasnas, John (2008). “The Depoliticization of Law,” Theoretical Inquiries in Law. 9(2): 529-52.
Koppl, Roger (2005). “How to Improve Forensic Science,” European Journal of Law and Economics. 20(3): 255-86.
Leonard, Jack, Garvey, Megan and Smith, Doug (2006). “Releasing Inmates Early Has a Costly Human Toll,” Los Angeles Times. May 14.
Miron, Jeffrey and Waldock, Katherine (2010). The Budgetary Impact of Ending Drug Prohibition. Washington, D.C.: Cato Institute.