Executing Hackers Makes Fine Economic Sense, Apparently

July 14th, 2005 | researchmaterial

Professor Steven Landsburg, an economist at the University of Rochester, has calculated the relative value to society of executing murderers and hackers.

By using studies estimating the deterrent value of capital punishment, he figures that executing one murderer yields at most $100 million in social benefits.

The benefits of executing a hacker would be greater, he argues, because the social costs of hacking are estimated to be so much higher: $50 billion per year. Deterring a mere one-fifth of 1 percent of those crimes – one in 500 hackers – would save society $100 million…


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