Ucsd Econ 143 Paper 1

Topics: Research, Decision theory, Risk aversion Pages: 2 (695 words) Published: April 29, 2013
Title Certainty of punishment VS. Severity of punishment an experimental investigation Primary Research Question
The primary question of this article is based upon the question of what is more useful for deterring crime. Is it a harsher sentence or a greater chance to be caught? There have been multiple papers on this topic, but most of the results have been inconclusive. Therefore, the researcher would like to shed more light upon human decision making in regards to deterring crime. The key benefits of this research would include providing valuable data on how to prevent crime using limited resources. Would it be better to spend more money on punishing a crime, or to spend more money on things such as inspection or law enforcement in order to catch more people committing crimes? This is a very interesting question because crime takes a large toll on national and state governments. Additionally, the decrease of crime would be extremely beneficial for society. Finally, this question tries to find a way to uncover the mystery that is human decision making. Experimental Design

The researchers utilized two different experiments with multiple parts in order to obtain the data needed to provide conclusive results. The first part involved a lottery from 10 different choices. Participants would choose between option A and option B for 10 different times, which would represent payoffs dependent on the results of a 10-sided dice. For example, Option A is payout of $1.50 if 1-9 is rolled or Option B where there is a payout of $10 if a 10 is rolled. Then the participant would have to pick between option A or B receiving 0 if the other option is rolled. This is used to obtain an idea of how risk averse or loving each participant was. Which of the 10 options would be chosen was based on the first of two dice rolls, it would tell which numbered choice would be picked, while the second dice roll would be the deciding factor of the payout.

In the second part of the...
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