Law Enforcement Planning
The Limits of an Economic Analysis
AUTHOR: Jeffrey L. Sedgwick
PUBLISHER: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
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Is cost-benefit analysis the best means to determine and formulate public policies? To answer this question Jeffrey Leigh Sedgwick examines its application to crime and criminal justice and the implications of that application. In this interdisciplinary study, Sedgwick first assesses the value of applying economic models to the social problem of crime. He compares economic models to sociological ones and then addresses the question of whether economic models are compatible with the values of a liberal political order. He shows that cost-benefit analysis suffers from technical and ethical problems when used to set law enforcement goals. Current techniques for measuring the costs of crime are crude and unreliable, he argues, and overreliance on citizen and consumer preference may lead to the adoption of policies incompatible with American political traditions and respect for human rights. Sedgwick concludes that economic analysis cannot, by itself, lead to the adoption of effective and publicly defensible policies to combat crime.
PUBLICATION DATE: 12/14/1984
CATEGORY: Law, Political Science, Social Science